Uplands Elementary School student Lyla Babcock raised $77.50 for BC SPCA. She sold handmade pillows at her school's entrepreneurship market. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

School marketplace has young Langley student dreaming up ways to help animals

Nine-year-old sold her handmade pillows and donated all the profits to the BCSPCA

Langley’s Lyla Babcock is just nine years old, but her generous attitude has surprised many around her, including her teachers.

When Chelsea Alcira, a teacher at Uplands Elementary School, asked students to donate a minimum of 10 per cent of their profits from the merchandise sales at the school’s entrepreneurship market, Babcock said she would donate 100 per cent to BC SPCA.

In total, she raised $77.50 for the BC SPCA by selling 33 pillows.

Her inspiration was her love for animals.

“I like animals a lot, and I really want to help the animals,” said Babcock.

Alcira shared that Babcock was only one among the 61 students to contribute all of the profits.

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The Grade 4 student sold out of her pillows on the first day of the market intended to teach students a variety of academic-, life- and social-skills. Determined to raise as much money as possible, the little girl went back home and made 13 more pillows in less than 24 hours. Back with the new inventory, Babcock sold out all her pillows on the second day, too.

While her decision moved many, Babcock’s parents said they were not surprised at all.

“Lyla has always been generous and an animal lover. When she shared the news, I was not surprised at all.” said Joe Babcock, her father.

“It is absolutely in her character. She has always been empathetic,” he added.

For her project, she used “a lot” of fabric, which was available at her home. Initially, the little girl stitched the pillows with her hand but found the process long and tiring.

Her grandmother, a home economics teacher, is a sewing expert, and she had gifted Lyla’s sister a sewing machine at Christmas. Lyla’s mom taught her sewing, and under her supervision, Lyla started sewing.

“The sewing part was the best,” she said. “It was much quicker,” she continued.

With the help of her mother, Lyla made pillows of various sizes and patterns. She spent a week making the first batch of pillows – about 20 –, and when the inventory was sold out on the first, the family was on their toes helping the little one.

A proud mom, Tara Babcock, said her daughter did most of the work singlehandedly.

A good saleswoman, Lyla said her favourite part of doing the business was talking to people. She also got excited every time she would make a sale.

“I liked that feeling,” she explained.

Her favourite customer was her schoolmate, who bought the last pillow she had. Taking home some business skills and $77.50, Lyla is hoping to do more such fundraisers in future.

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The Wednesday, June 8 entrepreneurship market was organized by the Uplands Elementary School with support from the Langley School District. About 240 people, including parents, staff and students, participated and shopped at the market.

A variety of products were sold at the market, explained Alcira. She added that she is proud of all her students for their efforts.

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