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Alexa surpasses canned food goal

Sandy Fire volunteers were moved to raise money to help the hungry

The Sandy Community Action Center will be thousands of pounds richer in non-perishable food this holiday season thanks to the idea of one precocious little girl.

Alexa Ambrosius, 8, a third-grade student at Oregon Trail Academy, began a food drive at the beginning of November.

After conversations with her parents, Alexa decided she wanted to help families in need in the Sandy area. She spoke with staff at the Sandy Community Action Center, which will receive the donated food, and set a goal of 500 pounds to raise before the holidays.Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: TROY WAYRYNEN - Alexa Ambrosius, left, answers questions from Ginger Redlinger, Director of Oregon Trail Academy, during an assembly at the school.

In addition to asking her classmates at Oregon Trail Academy to bring in cans, Alexa approached local businesses such as Sandy Cinema, Geren’s Farm Supply, the Local Buzz and Blockbuster about collecting donations.

She also went to the Sandy Fire District asking for its help.

On Friday, Nov. 21, Oregon Trail Academy held an assembly in recognition of all the food that was donated. The assembly was a surprise for Alexa. Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: TROY WAYRYNEN - Benjamin Collins, 13, and Jenna Grimmer, 13, students at Oregon Trail Academy, help move canned goods collected as part of a food drive organized by Alexa Ambrosius.

“She was super nervous,” said Mike Ambrosius, Alexa’s dad. “She had no idea this was going to go on.”

Sandy Deputy Fire Chief Phil Schneider and other firefighters were present at the assembly to surprise Alexa with a donation.

Schneider said that volunteers were impressed with Alexa’s pitch and raised several hundreds of dollars with which to buy canned food. The food purchased by Sandy Fire will be put toward the Sandy Kiwanis Community Christmas Baskets.

“People said ‘wow,’” Schneider said. “An 8-year-old with an already business mentality.”Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: TROY WAYRYNEN - Alexa Ambrosius, left, is asked by Directory Ginger Redlinger to pick the best canned food creations as part of an assembly at Oregon Trail Academy.

At the assembly, Oregon Trail Academy Director Ginger Redlinger informed Alexa that she had surpassed her goal.

According to Mike Ambrosius, with the help of local businesses, students and staff at OTA, the company he works for, Modern Machinery, and its branches in Boise, Idaho, and Missoula, Mont., Alexa’s food drive has yielded an estimated 3,000 pounds of food. Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: TROY WAYRYNEN - Alexa Ambrosius thanks Deputy Fire Chief Phil Schneider, left, of the Sandy Fire Department, for the fire departments support of a food drive Alexa organized during an assembly at Oregon Trail Academy.

“You have inspired all of us today,” Redlinger said to Alexa at the end of the assembly.

Ambrosius said the rest of the food will be collected at Modern Machinery, weighed, put on pallets and delivered to Sandy Community Action Center on Dec. 2.

“I don’t let her say, ‘I can’t do that, I’m a kid,’ anymore,” Ambrosius said. Ambrosius said he will just remind her of what she’s already accomplished.

Photo Credit: POST PHOTO: TROY WAYRYNEN - Rhiannon and Mike Ambrosius, parents of  Alexa, listen with students about their daughter's experiences organizing a food drive during an assembly at Oregon Trail Academy.

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