GWINN — Sophia Peterson knows what it’s like not to have a lot of anything. She’s spent time in foster care on multiple occasions.
“There’s other kids in there, like six other kids, so it’s hard to buy for all of those kids,” said Sophia.
During a recent essay assignment in Amy Waldo’s English class, Sophia wrote an ‘Outrageous Request’ letter to Kohl’s, asking for a donation to help kids in foster care.
“I think clothes are a special way of expressing yourself. I like clothes,” Sophia added.
“She did not write to Kohl’s asking for clothing for herself. I think that’s what really touched them the most,” said Amy Waldo, Sophia’s English Teacher. “She wanted to provide clothing for students that are less fortunate. I think that speaks volumes about her character.”
Representatives at Kohl’s were very touched by the letter. They decided to help out.
“When I read your letter, I knew you were such a kindred spirit,” said Michelle Gass, Chief Marketing Officer for Kohl’s. “You have a strong desire yourself to help other families, foster families and overall the community you live in. We’re thrilled and truly honored to make a $3,000 donation to U.P. Kids.”
“It makes a great holiday feeling,” said Brett Coleman, store manager at Kohl’s in Marquette. “It catches you right here in the heart. It’s a good thing and a good feeling.”
“She has the biggest heart of anybody I know,” said Michelle Peterson about her daughter. “All she could think about is other people. She’s thinking about Christmas time and those kids that may not have a mom and a dad now that are in foster homes. All she wanted was for them to have something special.”
“I instantly welled up and was amazed that a young person, being able to write her story and share it, asking to help other kids in similar situations,” said Melissa Arbelius–Poole, Supervisor for U.P. Kids. “She understood a really, true need that foster kids across the U.P. and across the country have.”
In addition to the $3,000 donation, Sophia received a $200 gift card. And to no one’s surprise, she’s not spending it on herself.
“I’m probably going to get Christmas presents for my mom and my family,” Sophia said.