Episcopal fourth grader Annie Engholm is an inspiration for us all. Like many this spring, Annie was bored staying at home with her family. However, unlike many of us, she didn’t spend that extra time snacking or binge watching her favorite TV show. Instead, Annie set to work fighting the virus the best way she knew how.
Annie loves making jewelry. As she created new pieces this spring, she also thought about how much she missed seeing her friends. That’s when inspiration struck. Annie made up her mind to sell her creations and donate the proceeds to a local hospital. With help from her dad, she established a non-profit Etsy shop titled Annie’s Ever After Shop. A quick study, Annie learned how to take photos of her creations, post the images, write the captions and package everything for shipping. In no time at all, her brightly colored, Louisiana-inspired Click Clack Clams, hair clips, rings and bracelets began shipping to her patrons. This young Knight raised $500, and she donated all of it to the Baton Rouge General Foundation to help them help others!
A visit with Annie and her friends Kamrin and Koyomi on the Episcopal deck proves that Annie is full of life and enthusiasm. As the students munch on their lunches, they are excited to learn more about Annie’s quarantine adventures, including the time she was featured on TV because of her generosity. Kamrin grabs a banana and pretends it’s a microphone as he asks Annie questions about the items she sold. Annie is excited to share with her friends that her first item was purchased by a grown-up. “The first day I got so many orders,” she says proudly. In the type of conversation that happens often with young classmates, the students share stories of their own television appearances and Annie talks about the time she and her dad saved a stranded bird that was entangled in a streamer. For these best friends, it seems to be a normal occurrence for someone their age to raise hundreds of dollars to help fight a pandemic.
“This is all Annie,” says Annie’s mom Ginny, with a laugh. “She is a force. If she wants to do something, she does it.” Annie’s Ever After Shop is not Annie’s first effort to make a difference in the world. Ginny says prior to this, Annie and her friends organized an art sale to generate funds to support a shelter for teens. While Annie says it’s hard to decide who to help, she is already making plans to do more. She hopes to soon begin creating a new round of shop items, including a headband design. Once she’s ready, she’ll re-open Annie’s Ever After in an effort to continue raising money in support of health care workers. With optimism, she says that once the quarantine is over, she will begin donating her proceeds to efforts that help children without homes.
Annie’s incredible compassion for others resonates with everyone who hears her story. The physicians and staff at Baton Rouge General were impressed with her efforts and nominated her for a National Philanthropy Day award given by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Baton Rouge Chapter. Ginny says Annie is actually the youngest recipient of the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy honor. Annie will be recognized along with other Baton Rouge philanthropists at a special luncheon at the City Club of Baton Rouge next week.
In the meantime, as she shares lunch with her friends under the large oak tree at Episcopal, Annie talks about how to get rid of bees and how to make a keychain. Someday she hopes to be “some kind of scientist,” and she really enjoys creating art. She’s also in the process of designing a board game to play with her cousin. Annie is full of energy and ideas and not afraid to try them. Her mom describes her as “super kind, super creative and fearless.” These traits will serve her well as she grows up and takes on the world. This future leader will certainly go far, and we are proud that she is a Knight.
Check out Annie's Etsy Shop promotional video here.
Share a message with Annie in the comments section below and let her know the Knights are proud of her!