By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Many people, clubs and organizations do so many good deeds during the Christmas holidays and it’s hard to keep them all straight. But there is one little girl who just happens to stand out. Grace Marshik, 11, of rural Buckman saved all her baby-sitting money for about six weeks to buy gifts for children in the hospital.
“I bought the toys for the Jared Tomala Toy Drive,” she said. At age 9, Tomala, in third grade in Pierz, passed away from cancer.
Grace, the daughter of Gregg and Kristi Marshik, said the toys go to children who have to spend Christmas in the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.
Since the first of November, Grace raised $144, an average of $20 per job.
“I heard about others raising money for good causes and asked my mom what I could do to help,” said Grace. “I kept imagining the kids’ smiles on Christmas day.”
Kristi said her daughter wanted to have bake sales and other fundraisers. But she felt that was too much for an 11-year-old.
It came down to using her baby-sitting money.
Grace got on the phone and called people she doesn’t usually sit for. She told them what she wanted to do and that they should keep her in mind if they need a sitter.
“It worked,” she said. “I even had to turn down some jobs because I was already working.”
Grace has looked after her cousins, her neighbor’s children and even a dog. She learned her skills by attending the baby-sitting clinic held at Pierz Pioneer Elementary School in October.
When she was ready to go shopping, Grace went to Walmart and purchased toys she thought would keep the children occupied while in the hospital. She purchased a toy piano, puzzles, workbooks, a monster truck, an Etch A Sketch, baby blankets and more.
“I tried to get items for both boys and girls and for all ages,” Grace said.
Kristi said her daughter brought along a calculator and as she picked up the gifts, would deduct the cost until there was no money left. But, she forgot about the sales taxes on the items, so mom came to the rescue at the register.
The gifts were collected at Holy Trinity School in Pierz, where Grace attends the fifth grade.
“It was a very generous act and we are very proud of her,” said Kristi.
Grace has plans to donate her baby-sitting money again next year.