News 12 at 11/ Tuesday, July 29, 2014
LINCOLN COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's an idea years beyond her age. Nine year old Kyndal Swearingen has been raising money for the J.D. Paugh Memorial Foundation.
"Usually every year I donate my hair for the people who have cancer, but this year I wanted to let it grow out," she said.
So, she started thinking of other ways to help. With an uncle and grandfather in the force, a love for cops is in her blood.
"Next thing I knew, she was writing a letter to Mr. J.D. Paugh President," Kyndal's mom Sharon Taylor said.
That letter turned into more than $200 dollars in less than 2 weeks. She even charged the neighborhood kids to jump on her trampoline to help with the fund.
"I'm like nuh-uh, you got to pay," Kyndal acts out for News 12.
"She's been cleaning her brothers' rooms. She convinced her brothers to let them have not only her vacation money but their vacation money also," Taylor said.
Her generosity paying it forward is turning into a big payout for Lincoln County.
"This is about $3000 worth of equipment that we otherwise would not have been able to obtain," Sheriff Bruce Beggs said.
Today the foundation presented them with brand new, state of the art Tasers.
But after Kyndal's interview was another surprise. Michael Cardenaz, the foundation's president, thought she had only raised about $50, but that amount has more than doubled.
"We've raised over $100," she told Cardenaz as she gave him the can of money.
"Wow, 100 dollars?" he asked.
"For a 9-year-old to go and collect over one hundred dollars from just getting it out of piggy banks and penny by penny is really heartwarming. It brings a tear to your eye," Cardenaz said. "I was speechless, which is rare for me."
It's a kind of shock even the Tasers can't give. But, as people drop money into the coffee can labeled in honor of Officer J.D. Paugh, it sends a message all the way to heaven.
"He's smiling down right now," Cardenaz said.
In the last couple hours, that total has reached more than 200 dollars. Bi-Lo has even agreed to refund her processing fee when she went to count all the change.
Now, the foundation is building her a lemonade stand so she can keep the fundraising going.