First-Grader Making a Big Difference for Children in Guatemala

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (June 6, 2016)  One morning on her way to school, 7-year-old Campbell Jane Ismert, known as CJ to her family and friends, overheard a heartbreaking story that inspired her to make a difference. Her local radio station 94.9 KLTY featured representatives from Food For The Poor, an international relief and development organization, who shared stories of the families the charity aims to help.

That morning they told the story of a family living in Guatemala suffering from poverty and malnutrition. Living in a home made from mud, Gloria and her three children often went searching through garbage dumps in hopes of collecting enough sticks to sell to be able to buy food. Gloria already had lost her youngest child due to starvation and she still struggled to feed her family every day.

Hearing this story saddened CJ and stirred her to ask her mom what she could do to help. Lisa Ismert was not surprised when her daughter approached her with her desire to do something for those less fortunate.

"CJ has always had a tender heart and has always wanted to help others in need. She was one of the first students in her first-grade class to try an act of kindness for a program at school during the Christmas season," Lisa Ismert said. "She is a child who always has understood the concept of giving back."

When Lisa Ismert asked her daughter how many children in Guatemala she wanted to help, she responded with a resounding, "All of them!"

With a big goal in mind and her mother's help, CJ decided to set up a stand to sell water bottles on a Saturday afternoon. Filled with excitement and determination, CJ made posters all by herself and made sure to tell all of her family - including her younger brother Van - and her first-grade classmates to come to her stand that Saturday. For those who could not attend, CJ and her mother set up a Go Fund Me page so they still could have the opportunity to donate. Soon, the day of the water bottle stand fundraiser arrived, and many people came to support her, bringing generous amounts of cash for their water.

In just one day, little CJ surpassed her goal. She raised more than $300, which will be able to provide enough food to feed 11 children in Guatemala for an entire year. To date, CJ's water stand and Go Fund Me page together have raised more than $750 to help those in need through Food For The Poor. You can still donate to CJ at her page:

"Her generosity at such a young age is truly inspiring," said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. "The fact that a first-grader was able to raise so much money in just one day for the poor in Guatemala is truly amazing, and on behalf of the people we serve we want to sincerely thank CJ for her compassion and generosity."

While CJ aspires to be a veterinarian when she grows up, she wants to continue her philanthropy along the way. Inspired by the overwhelming support of others for her cause, CJ hopes to continue raising money for Food For The Poor to help more poor families such as Gloria's.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit

Lauren Anton

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6901