Article: Hershberger Becomes Top Donation Getter in Kids Heart Challenge

Hershberger Becomes Top Donation Getter in Kids Heart Challenge

Posted Thursday, February 29, 2024

If the Kids Heart Challenge had a face at Stephen Bell, it would be Carter Hershberger’s.

Carter has spent the last three years at Stephen Bell earning the most donations for the Kids Heart Challenge each year – this year earning $1,676.55, and helping Stephen Bell as a school raise a record $29,600.

The second grader said a family member inspired his desire to collect as many donations as possible.  
“I’m really happy,” Carter said. “It’s been really fun doing it all. I was really excited and I really like doing it. It’s a special cause for me and my family.”

This cause is an important one to the Hershbergers, who have a relative who was born with a heart condition according to Lindsey, Carter’s mother.

“Carter was an age that it really impacted him seeing all the procedures that family member went through,” she said. “So, Carter just became passionate about doing anything he could to help kids with heart conditions.”

That meant raising money. A lot of it. In total, Carter has helped raise $4,633.28. He was able to get $1,528.95 in donations as a kindergartener and $1,427.78 in first grade to go along with his nearly $1,700 this year.

“Carter is such a great kid,” Stephen Bell Physical Education teacher Stacy Tincher said. “He’s super quiet very unassuming. He comes in, works hard, doesn’t talk much; he is just a phenomenal kid and I think it’s really special that all three years he has gone above and beyond to earn that much money for the Heart Association. I’m really proud of him.”

But it was more than just calling and asking for money. Lindsey helped with a social media campaign to raise money, but the work didn’t stop there.

The now second grader took his time to make sure everyone who donated knew just how important it was to him.

“Each year I’ve made them a car
ft or something,” Carter said. “This year I made them a 3-D pin with a letter for their name or a heart. I’ve tried to do something every year.”

Lindsey said there is a little more to it than what her modest son lets on.

“He went above and beyond the call to say ‘hey can I get money,’” she said. “He made a little craft for every single person, and hand wrote them a thank you note. He thought of a way – almost like a business – he would do something special for each person who donated and I was really touched by that.”

Lindsey said when the Kids Heart Challenge was first introduced to Carter as a Kindergartener, he connected the dots of how it would help his family member on his own.

“I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Lindsey said. “He wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a tremendous kid. He knows what’s important in life and focuses on that. As a mom it’s hard to imagine being more proud. It’s more than just earning a keychain for him.”

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