Keeping up with Elena: ‘Pickle girl’ raises $1,500 for the homeless

Local News

CENTRAL NEW YORK, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When we first introduced you to Elena Cole last fall, the then six-year-old was only a few months into making pickles for a purpose: helping the homeless.

Elena’s reason then was as simple as it is today:

They needed money to buy food and get water.”

The now seven-year-old is older, wiser, and she’s raised a total of $1500 for In My Father’s Kitchen.

“I like doing it,” said Cole.

“Giving back is something that’s important,” said Erin Cole, Elena’s mom.

Elena’s desire to help others a fire inside her that her parents are proud of and will continue to support.

Her community kindness is something John Tumino from In My Father’s Kitchen says we can all learn from. When kids see a need they don’t think, they just do.

“A child will lead us, you know what I mean, because of the innocence.”

John tumino

When John goes out in his outreach van, he tells our homeless friends about the ‘pickle girl’ who’s helping them survive.

“It shows the folks that are outside that are suffering and broken that they’re not invisible,” said Tumino.

Each donation Elena drops off shows all of us how simple it really is to spread kindness.

To all parents, not just Elena’s, keep letting your kids be who they are and let them burn those little fires bright so that they can help the community around them.

John Tumino, In My Father’s Kitchen

As for Elena, she has no plans to slow down.

“I feel good about it and that’s it.”

elena cole

After our first story aired on NewsChannel 9, family and friends from out of state wanted to help. So, Elena started selling t-shirts as well since they’re easier to ship than pickles.

The Pickle Stand t-shirt

Her parents also started a page on Instagram where people can keep up with her pickle progress.

You can email for information on how to purchase pickles or a shirt.

If you would like to donate to In My Father’s Kitchen click here.

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