OUR VIEW: A 9-year-old is showing us the joys of donating our time, giving back to our community

Published 9:30 am Friday, July 15, 2022

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As a child, most of us are told we can be anything we want to be. We’re told anyone can make a difference, regardless of their background, age or other factors. And we’re told that we should care about our community.

Bentlie Kusiak, a 9-year-old in LaGrange, is proving that age is just a number.

The youngster spent a lot of time this summer operating a lemonade and sweet stand that raised money for the LaGrange-Troup County Homeless Coalition. He has a goal to raise $1,900, and he’s almost there. As of Tuesday, he was about $200 short of that goal, with every penny going to the homeless coalition.

Kusiak calls his mission Food for Homeless, which with the help of his aunt Shara Jenkins, is really making a difference.

We’re going to guess that a lot of Kusiak’s friends probably spent their summers playing baseball, softball or playing video games. Or going on vacation. We’re sure Bentlie did some of those things too. But he also started an initiative, something important to him, and is showing us all what it means to give back to our community. 

On Friday, he will operate the stand for the last time this summer, so if you’re interested in supporting him, go by South Lewis Street, buy some lemonade, a snack or make a donation.

Let’s make sure Bentlie reaches his goal, and at the same time, let’s ensure the homeless in our community get the support they need. It’s often forgotten that we have people who don’t have a roof over their head every night in this community, but we absolutely do. Thank you to Bentlie for taking on this big initiative and reminding us anyone can make a difference. We can’t wait to see what you do in the future.