One Southern Minnesota Girl Shows You Are Never Too Young To Make A Big Difference
You really are never too young to start making a difference and one girl has made this very clear within Southern Minnesota!
Say hello to Ella, an 11-year-old from Faribault. When Ella was 10, she noticed that in school many of her friends couldn’t go back for seconds and didn’t have money to pay for milk. When she learned that some of her friends couldn’t afford lunch at all, she said enough is enough. She wanted to change that, so she started a non-profit to help end this.
With Ella’s mother, Nichole, guiding her to be the entrepreneur Nichole knows she can be, Ella started the non-profit No Tummies Left Behind.
No Tummies Left Behind (NTLB), which started in October 2021, is a non-profit organization where all proceeds go towards local school districts to help kids with negative lunch balances.
When I found out about NTLB, I immediately wanted to reach out as I thought this was so inspiring. After asking Ella multiple questions, she shared many things with me from her mission, to her favorite moments, to her biggest supporters.
First, Ella explains that NTLB “sells bracelets that I made that are adjustable and have charms on them, and the proceeds go towards the business for donations to local schools. We also partner with businesses to do fundraising activities and all funds go towards the business for donations to local schools.”
I wanted to start by asking her about her overall mission and goal of NTLB. And the first time I read her answer I’m not gonna lie, I teared up.
“My mission is to pay off all negative lunch balances in Minnesota then extend to Florida. But eventually, every state to make sure there are no more negative lunch balances ever,” shares Ella.
I mean, there is truly nothing stopping this amazing girl! The fact that Ella doesn’t want to just solve this as a state issue, but as a national issue is so inspiring. And so how can we help support her and raise awareness?
“People can help raise awareness by spreading the news as much as possible to help buy bracelets and support businesses that support our business.”
Sooo, here is the link to their Facebook shop!
I am truly moved by Ella’s proactiveness to start something. As someone who has this desire but shies away due to roadblocks and the unknown, I had to ask her what she thought was hard at first.
“I thought it would be hard to sell my bracelets. I thought it would be easy to start the business but it took a lot of effort to get supplies and find places that would allow us to sell but that’s been better,” explains Ella.
Which I totally understand, but those roadblocks did not stop her, and she always had people to help her along the way. Ella mentions that her friends and family have been very proud of the business and her friends really like helping her. In addition, Ella shares the following:
“I am thankful for my mom for helping me become a better entrepreneur. And she has helped me be more brave to speak up and about The Tummies.”
I had to ask what her favorite part is about running NTLB and she stated that it is making the donations because it makes her feel good to help others, which of course made me smile. What really made me smile though was her answer to me asking about a moment that made her feel proud.
“I donated to the Faribault school board and they let me speak and asked me questions about No Tummies Left Behind, it made me feel proud and appreciated when they sent me a thank you letter,” Ella states.
“I am so thankful for all the people who helped donate and for my friends for putting time and effort into helping me,” Ella shares. “Thank you for all the support we’ve been getting; it helped our business keep growing so we can help more schools. This year we added WEM school district!”
Thank you Ella for teaching and showing us that you are never too young or “too small” to make a big difference. I can’t wait to see where your passions take you!
If you would love to help Ella make a difference and make sure kids are able to eat lunch every day, please buy a bracelet (or two 😊), follow them on Facebook, and share NTLB with anyone you know.
Also, if you would like to partner with NTLB for a fundraiser/other opportunities or know others that might, you can contact Nichole at 507-676-0472 or firstname.lastname@example.org.