Just look at Jade Geren.
The recently crowned Junior Miss Montpelier was just watching television, not unlike a lot of 10 year old girls. Then, she saw a commercial, and everything changed.
“It looked fun and I like helping people.”
The advertisement was for an organization known as Tennessee H.U.G.S., which sends shoes to people in need throughout the entire world. Immediately, Jade knew she had to help. She told her mother, Jaimi Geren, about her new found plans.
“I was pretty excited.” Jaimi confessed. “But when she told me how many shoes she wanted to collect, I got nervous.”
That’s because Jade’s goal is to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes for Tennessee H.U.G.S.
“This is just something that she’s taken on to do.” Jaimi said of her daughter’s mission.
Jade has already been collecting for three months, and has roughly 100 pairs of shoes sitting in her living room already. While there is no specific time frame in which Jade needs to complete this task, she would like to accomplish her goal before relinquishing her crown next year.
The main goal for Jade right now is just to get the word out on the project, and she has devised a few methods to do so. She’s taken to Jaimi’s Facebook page, which has brought about some attention. She also plans to seek out the help of Montpelier Chief of Police Dan McGee. Her local church is also a target, and she hopes to speak to the congregation on this issue soon.
Amongst her fundraising ideas is the Celebrity Waiter Dinner. The premise is that several public figures in the Montpelier Community, such as Chief McGee, serve as waiters for an evening. Each table just might be modeled after the waiter working that particular area.
“We might do a few skits in it, too.” Jade proclaimed, before adding, “If we can think of any.”
So where did this idea come from?
“My mom did this last year, for her work.” Jade admitted.
The Dinner will take place on October 4, at Millers Country Kitchen in West Unity, from 5 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. Tickets are $15 a piece, and the proceeds will be split between the Tennessee H.U.G.S. Program and the Girls Against Bullying (G.A.B.) Girls campaign. Guests will have their choice between Salisbury Steak and a Hamburger Basket.
Some might ask why a little girl would decide to go to all this trouble to help people she doesn’t even know. Aside from simply wanting to help people, the fact that she was crowned a queen at the Miss Montpelier Pageant has also had a strong impact on her. She takes the role quite seriously, and plans to guide her actions accordingly.
“Now that I’m a queen, I feel like I need to act like it.”
This makes sense, as Jade has wanted to enter the pageant for many years. Jaimi, however, having watched shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras” was a bit hesitant at first.
“At first, we thought it was gonna be a glam pageant.” Jade recalled.
Of course, the pageant was nothing of the sort, and Jade was able to participate without Jaimi having to worry about anything besides her daughter’s chances of winning.
And now that she’s won, Jade feels more compelled than every to help her fellow man. But this isn’t a completely selfless act, as there is one thing she would like in return for her efforts.
“If they would send pictures back.” Jade said. “And they had smiles on their faces.”
One can only imagine what that would inspire Jade to do.