Under usual circumstances, 14-year-olds are often in their own peer-pressure injected worlds trying to defeat the next level of whatever video game they are being challenged by, finding a way to fit in as a high-school freshman and starting to figure out that the opposite sex might be worth hanging out with.
But for Anna Grace Allen, the typical early teenage circumstances aren’t quite as typical.
Allen has what many people have already labeled a servant’s heart — a term that means to not only put other’s needs ahead of our own, but to serve with the right motivation. It is not only a complimentary term, but also a biblical one.
In the Bible, Matthew 25:40 says: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Allen has taken that scripture to heart.
Allen, who is the current Miss Bladenboro Outstanding Teen, will compete for the crown of Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen in June with a platform titled “Sock It to ‘Em,” which is an effort to collect much-needed socks for the homeless and needy in the Fayetteville area. You can read more about Allen’s efforts in the staff report story on Page 1A today.
Last week, Allen came by the Bladen Journal office to talk about her platform and how she came up with the idea to collect socks. Most of us would never guess that socks are one of the most-needed items at homeless shelters, but Allen knows it because she volunteers at homeless shelters and soup kitchens regularly.
Did we mention that she is 14?
To look at Allen, there is little doubt she is a pageant contestant. She is confident, cute and bright-eyed with an angelic smile. But close your eyes and simply listen to her will defy what you’ve just seen. She comes across as an intelligent, well-spoken and mature young lady.
It didn’t take us long to realize that we wanted to join forces with Allen in her quest to collect socks for those who need them most — and when we pitched that idea to her, she beamed that big smile and immediately allowed us on board.
We are hopeful that by giving Bladen County an outlet to assist in Allen’s efforts, as well as an opportunity to bolster her platform in Raleigh, the public will respond overwhelmingly. We’ve already seen proof of how the community can come through during our annual blanket and sleeping bag collection for the homeless and needy each fall, and it would be more proof of how generous this county can be if socks begin walking into our office.
The collection will last through the month of April, and there is a large box to fill. Let’s see if we can fill it to overflowing. Allen will take it from there, making sure those socks get on the feet of those who will rejoice when slipping them on.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Measuring life by what others do for us may disappoint us. But measuring life by what we do for others will add more meaning to our life.” (Unknown)