When you’re BFFs (Best Friends Forever) and in elementary school, you tend to do everything together. For eight exceptional first graders at Fern Persons Elementary School in Olivet, being a large group of BFFs is no different.

Following the lead of two students in the group, Ellie Cooper and Lila Nowak, the girls spent a week’s worth of recess making bracelets, necklaces and rings to sell to their classmates. On the service it seems like a very entrepreneurial activity, until you learn the reason behind it.

“We wanted to help kids,” said Elizabeth Freed, another member of the group that also includes Faith Hebenstreit, Brianna Faulkner, Elizabeth London, Madison Elmer and Emma Darrow.

Cooper had learned from her mother about a new organization in Eaton County that helps kids making the transition into foster homes — Guardian Angels Suitcases for Kids. She shared it with her BFFs and she and Lila came up with an idea to raise money for the organization.

“Everyone wanted to be in it,” Cooper said. “We’re all BFFs.”

So the group spent five days during recess and any free time they had making items to sell to other students. Each of them brought something to the group, whether it was tiny rubber bands, beads or just their hands to do the work. In two days the group raised $85 to donate to Guardian Angels Suitcases for Kids.

“We try to emphasize having good character,” said Fern Persons Principal Brock Peters. “To see it acted out in these young ladies makes me proud.”

Cooper said the group plans to continue to raise money to help foster kids next year. Guardian Angels Suitcases for Kids was established in May by Charlotte resident, Jenn DeLeeuw with the mission of providing foster children with some bare essentials in hopes of making the transition less painful. A 501(c)3 non-profit status, Guardian Angels will work with Eaton County DHS to help provide packs to foster kids going through a transition.

Donations can be dropped off at Carl Reck Jewelers in downtown Charlotte. To help or for more information, call (517) 231-0735, email GuardianAngelsSuitcasesForKids@gmail.com or find Guardian Angels Suitcases for Kids on Facebook.Fern Person