FishHawk resident Katie Jane Brier is proof that you don’t need to be a grown-up to make a difference.
The 10-year-old, along with her father, John Brier, established a multifaceted, charitable organization in 2018, Katie Jane Rocks Inc., that helps children in three countries: the United States, Panama and Columbia.
The family, who has lived in all three countries, witnessed children living in true poverty, which spurred them to create the charity.
“Some kids need help sometimes and I’m glad we can do that with Katie Jane Rocks,” said Katie.
Katie decorates and sells one-of-a-kind resin art pieces, each unique and individually numbered. Pieces range in price from $16.95 to more than $100. One hundred percent of the purchase price (minus sales tax) goes to the charity thanks to her dad’s generous contribution of materials, which can cost between $5 and $30 per piece.
With every donation of $50 or more, supporters will receive a hand-painted Kindness Rock. Many people decide to bring their rock with them and bury it during their travels. There are Kindness Rocks buried throughout the world, from Russia to China and even at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Last month, Lithia resident Stella Espinosa buried a Kindness Rock in Athens, Greece at the Acropolis.
Katie said her goal is to have 1,000 rocks buried around the world before she turns 18. If supporters want to bury a rock (no purchase required), she’d appreciate help reaching her goal.
So far, her charity has helped fund scholarships for weekly summer camps at the YMCA’s Camp Tracy in Maine, donated $10,000 so a covered shelter could be built over its archery range, bought laptops and clothing for residents of an orphanage in Columbia and donated thousands of dollars’ worth of food, backpacks with school supplies, a refrigerator and tables and chairs to a school in Panama.
“The children used to eat on the floor, and they had no way of keeping their food cold,” said John.
It also hosts the ‘Queen of Diamonds,’ a scholarship program to encourage girls to play sports. To date, the organization has awarded six scholarships in Pensacola and one in Maine.
If that’s not enough to keep a charity busy, it has also published a children’s book in English and Spanish, Children of the World, God Loves You! All donations of $200 or more come with an autographed copy of the hardcover book and, of course, a Kindness Rock.