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Six-Year-Old Hometown Hero Creates Care Packages for Children

OZARK, Mo. -- A six-year-old girl from Ozark East Elementary leads an effort to help create care packages for abused and neglected children in the Ozarks.
OZARK, Mo. -- A six-year-old girl from Ozark East Elementary leads an effort to help create care packages for abused and neglected children in the Ozarks.

She may be young, but Tara Venable is a true leader, innovative and kind. She wants to help other children in our community.

"Because it's good to help people,” she says.

The kindergartner raises funds and leads a drive to help local abused and neglected children.

She rallied her classmates at Ozark East Elementary School and family members to bring in 134 full backpacks stuffed with essentials and comfort items for foster children in the region.

"Toothpaste, soap, and toys, blankets, and stuffed animals and shoes and clothes,” says Tara.

All were donated to the Ambassadors for Children Pack-a-Bag program. But that wasn't enough for Tara. She applied for and received a grant from Disney to purchase more bags. Her drive collected nearly 1,300 bags and items.

"Usually kids that help out are adolescent age, so it was really unique to have a six year old step forward and actually saw a project through and has remained committed and continues to come up with ideas about how to help these kids," says Natalie Allen, with Ambassadors for Children.

Tara wanted to do even more for these children. She loves jewelry and thought the girls in foster care might not have any, so she and her friends made all these necklaces and bracelets to place in their specially packed book bags.

"We really depend on the community to help us,” says Allen. “And so it's really exciting when individuals like Tara come forward and really just stretch their arms even wider to bring in. She involved her whole class with the project and through that has really involved the greater community and we're just appreciative of that."

And she does it all through the kindness of her heart.

"Because it was really nice for others and I feel good inside,” says Tara.

The Council of Churches of the Ozarks and City of Springfield recently nominated Tara as one of the 10 top volunteers of the year.

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