By Anna Skinner
Although Caitlin Carter never met her cousin Heather Lyn, who died of cancer before 12-year-old Caitlin was even born, she’s always felt a connection with her.
Recently, the sixth-grade Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate Junior High student created a plan to raise funds to give back to the Childhood Leukemia Foundation in memory of her cousin, who died at age 10.
“I wanted to start a business about helping (kids with) cancer, because I’ve always wanted to help people with cancer,” said Caitlin, who plans to be a pediatric oncologist when she grows up. “I knew a lot of special shirts, and if I started a business, I could get money to donate to (kids with) cancer. My cousin passed away from cancer, and I always wanted to help her out and have people not have to deal with what she had to deal with, so I thought money from shirts would help.”
Caitlin’s sale T-shirt sale ended Dec. 19. In two weeks, she sold more than 80 T-shirts and profited more than $800. She plans to establish a website and continue to sell the shirts. Her goal is to raise $1,500.
“The profits go toward childhood leukemia,” said Carolyn Carter, Caitlin’s mother. “It is something we will present to my aunt, who was the grandmother of Heather Lyn. We will present it at Christmastime and let her know what Caitlin has done and created. Caitlin has always had this passion helping others, especially since childhood leukemia has affected the family so deeply.”
“The idea is kind of two-fold,” said Cory Carter said, Caitlin’s father. “The primary focus is on Caitlin’s idea on raising funds to donate to cancer (research), and in the meantime hope to be able to teach her more about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Part of starting a business and making it sustainable is understanding how to operate it while at the same time focusing on giving back and help others in need. That’s the two-prong idea behind all this.”
Caitlin originally sold her T-shirts through Ink to the People, a specialty T-shirt company focused on fundraising. On Dec. 20, she launched her own business to continue selling the T-shirts. For more, visit blueoceanapparel.com.