Young girl with big heart uses pickles to help the homeless

Local News

CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Most six-year-olds want to kick around a soccer ball or play with friends, but not Elena Cole. She’s busy in the kitchen helping the homeless.

“They [homeless] needed money to buy food and get water,” said Cole.

Elena began to ask her parents about the homeless last year. The more she learned, the more she wanted to help.

“I wanted to start off just handing out money to them but then I decided to make a pickle stand.”

Elena Cole
Elena’s Pickle Stand

Elena and her dad started building, and when summer came, so did the family’s pickle recipe.

“Mustard, cucumbers and vinegar and water and salt,” said Cole.

She turned all those ingredients into $364 for the Syracuse non-profit, In My Father’s Kitchen. Depending on the jar’s size, she charged $5 or $10. Each one began inspiring others.

“We’re so proud of her,” said her mom, Erin. “We had probably three or four people who would leave a 20 and take a jar.”

It became a teaching moment from a younger generation.

It’s eye-opening cause, you know we do, everybody sort of drives past the people with cardboard signs and we don’t really think about it and I think a lot of times people try not to make eye contact.

Erin Cole

Now, her family and their neighbors will think differently thanks to Elena… a little girl with a big heart, helping everyone feel seen.

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

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