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March Mania

12-year-old Allison Eide sponsors two children through Compassion International

Allison Eide and her friend Ashley Reitsma have their own mini-business going. They make wallets, flowers, bookmarks and purses out of brightly colored duct tape, then sell the items to help Eide sponsor an Ethiopian child.

At age 12, Allison Eide is like other kids her age. She's got friends, she does her school work and she likes to make fun little purses and bookmarks with duct tape. But Eide is also different from most kids her age, because she sponsors not one, but two children in third world countries.

Oh, and she's also a worship leader.

The daughter of Peder and Sherri Eide of Farmington, Allison Eide is one of five kids in her family. Her father is a professional Christian musician and worship leader. Her mother, Sherri, home schools Allison and her siblings. And the family as a whole sponsors seven children from third world countries through Compassion International.

The apple didn't fall from the tree. Allison has been sponsoring a Honduran girl for a while. She liked doing that so much that she started thinking she might want to sponsor another.

When she came across the biography for an Ethiopian girl named Elisa Wetansa, something clicked. Not only does Allison have an adopted brother from Ethiopia, but her middle name is Elise - not a far cry from Elisa.

"I just knew I wanted to sponsor her," Allison said.

Allison approached her parents for permission. While they are both big supporters of Compassion International, sponsoring a child requires a financial commitment. Allison's father was not against the idea, but he wanted to make sure Allison understood she would have to take care of that financial responsibility herself.

But Allison was ready. She told her parents she would give up her allowance and take on babysitting jobs. And then she came up with her idea to sell wallets, purses and bookmarks made from duct tape. Her father gave her permission.

When she contacted Compassion International, Eide found out that tracking down the paperwork for Elisa was easier said than done. Elisa's profile had been passed along to another area of the United States and she was no longer available for sponsorship from this area. Several calls later, the Eides had tracked down the child's profile and Allison was able to sign the necessary paperwork.

Allison's interest in sponsoring children does not surprise her mother.

"Christian scripture says to take care of the widows and the children," Sherri said. "Allison has really developed that heart."

Allison is also in a Christian youth band called "On Fire for Christ."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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