Lifestyle

10-year-old Tucker Alexander raises $1,500 for Bremerton Foodline

Tucker Alexander, 10, stands with Bremerton Foodline Executive Director Monica Bernhard. Tucker recently donated $1,500 to the organization which she raised at a yard sale she hosted at her Bremerton home. - Courtesy photo
Tucker Alexander, 10, stands with Bremerton Foodline Executive Director Monica Bernhard. Tucker recently donated $1,500 to the organization which she raised at a yard sale she hosted at her Bremerton home.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Tucker Alexander was 4 years old when she hosted her first summer yard sale. With the help of her mom, Ivaly Alexander, Tucker baked bread, crafted handmade bookmarks and sold vegetables from the family garden, donating the approximate $100 in proceeds to Bremerton Foodline (BFL).

A loaf of bread here, bouquet of flowers there and six years later, Tucker is 10 and the summer sale is bigger than ever.

Two weekends ago, she landed more than $1,500 in earnings and true to form, gave every penny to the foodline.

“I want people to know what the food bank needs,” the Crownhill Elementary fifth-grader said, steering the conversation toward the foodline’s needs. “I don’t want the attention to be on me, I’d really like to see other people help out at the food bank.”

Bremerton Foodline is operated almost exclusively by volunteers — it has four staff members — making it a community facility.

Demand for service has increased 47 percent since 2003, according to BFL’s annual report, including 15 percent last year alone. Those numbers translate to a higher need for food, volunteers and donations.

Executive Director Monica Bernhard said Tucker’s contribution will help BFL combat increased food and living expenses.

“In the environment of interest and demand, $1,500 will go a long way,” Bernhard said. It’s just so inspiring.”

Tucker’s volunteer work at BFL doesn’t stop at the annual yard sale; her Campfire USA group also volunteers every other Wednesday.

“I think it’s amazing to see that sense of community in someone so young,” Bernhard said. “She makes you realize that we all have something to give.”

Money from Tucker’s sale is still trickling in, Bernhard said, as late checks dedicated to the sale have boosted the total to about $1,560.

That total more than doubles last year’s earnings of about $700, surpassing Tucker’s expectations two-fold.

“I think it went really well,” Tucker said, thanking her friends and neighbors who helped out.

Among the goods at this year’s sale were bookmarks, zucchini bread, herbs, beans, flowers, computer bags, key lime pie and more.

While it’s a year-round job to maintain the garden, Tucker said the end result makes it worth the while.

“It can be tiring, but it’s fun,” she said.

BFL needs volunteers to help load and unload food deliveries, sort and clean produce for client use, repack products into family size portions and help clients fill emergency food baskets.

Donations like Tucker’s, Bernhard said, help BFL buy perishable foods that are not supplied via donations and non-perishable foods to supplement donations, as well as fund special needs and pay the operating costs of running the foodline.

Checks can be mailed to Bremerton Foodline, P.O. Box 824, Bremerton, WA 98337 and donations can be dropped off directly at 1600 12th St., Bremerton.

For more information about the foodline, call (360) 479-6188 or (360) 373-9971. BFL is open 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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