Sassy Neuman, only twelve years old, is a prime example there is no age limit to giving back to the community. Uniquely, Sassy’s love for volunteering and serving others first began when she was in the fourth grade watching a documentary on the devastation of children in the foster care system. Recognizing how thankful she was of the simple privileges some may take for granted, she developed a passion for serving foster care children. Sassy quickly took initiative by inquiring with the Service Director at her school about different ways she could get involved. Thus, Sassy founded and launched her service group, The Bunny Bag Girls, where she and her best friends team up to compile and deliver gift baskets to and through the foster care system.
The Bunny Bag Girls launched four years ago with their first project of gifting Easter baskets to children with Monroe Harding, a local non-profit organization which helps support and find homes for foster children in the Nashville community. Sassy credits the success of her service to Monroe Harding as this organization has helped support their efforts since the first project.
Through serving with Monroe Harding, Sassy has been able to develop many connections and continues to meet people who inspire her. Amy Bond, the recent Event Coordinator at Monroe Harding, has become one of Sassy’s biggest mentors. She also credits Adele Holloway, the Service Director at Oak Hill Elementary, and her mother, Liza Byrd, for their support and guidance. She says these three women have consistently encouraged and supported her by inspiring her work, helping her find new ways to get involved, or just driving her around to deliver the baskets. Additionally, she credits the Owner of Magpies, Maggie Tucker, for also heavily inspiring her volunteer efforts. Sassy often collaborates with the local boutique to sell baked goods, lemonade, and bracelets to raise funds for their baskets. The mentors have brought a supportive and encouraging element to Sassy’s life. Through the years of volunteering, Sassy says “it’s been a humbling experience to learn about the foster care system,” and it’s evident her passion for helping grows stronger each day.
Since then, the Bunny Bag Girls have changed their name to Fostering Faith and strive to do just as their name states. Volunteering actively in all parts of her life, Sassy is a part of the Care Bears Club at her school which meets to knit hats for babies in Kenya, Africa who would not have the clothing otherwise. Sassy has also received the Presidential Service Award honoring her 100+ hours of volunteer work. She urges everyone to talk to someone they trust about getting involved in volunteering. She emphasizes volunteering does not need to be a grand gesture, but just “being kind to people is an act of service,” one of many ways Sassy embodies a service-oriented mindset.
Sassy is the youngest person to date named Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month, and volunteers of all ages are celebrated by Doing Good and its partners. Doing Good is a local 501c3 nonprofit. To partner with Doing Good to celebrate those who do good or to nominate someone for Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month, visit DoingGood.tv.
Doing Good, a 501c3 nonprofit, provides marketing and public relations tools and opportunities to nonprofit and government agencies. www.doinggood.tvEmma dela Pena