ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Last summer WCCO introduced you to a little girl raising money to help other children. On Tuesday, her dream came true as she handed out 60 stuffed bears to kids at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul.
Ellie Fuller from Maple Lake sold lemonade, potholders and took donations to fund her build-a-bear give-away. Her parents say she was able to raise $5,000. Ellie was inspired by her older brother who needed care at Gillette.
Ellie has worked for a year to raise money to provide bears for the children in the hospital. She’ll also be donating blankets for children at a homeless shelter.
“This has just been her baby for the past year, and she’s worked very hard for a 5-year-old, going to craft shows and sitting on the curb with the lemonade, just for this day,” said Ellie’s mother Melody Fuller.
“To be honest, words can’t explain. It’s just overwhelming for the whole family,” said Ellie’s father Tim Fuller.
Santa Claus, who helped had out the bear at Gillette Children’s, said Ellie exemplifies the giving spirit.
“She is just an example of the change that we’re seeing in the children,” he said. “We’re seeing the children be more giving now, because of the hard times and things like that, they’re finding out that some children don’t have toys, so they’ll share their toys.”
He mother said Ellie is a “take-charge kind of lady” and has been very excited to be an elf and hand out all the bears.
“At the beginning of the year, she telephoned my sister, who lives in Tennessee, and said ‘I’m gonna need you to make me a fairy elf costume.’ Ellie was very happy to receive it in the mail and get to be the elf today,” said Melody Fuller.
It turns out that Ellie has some extra bears, so if you know of a deserving organization, you may contact Ellie’s family through the link below.