7th grader sells duct tape pens for those in need - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

7th grader sells duct tape pens for those in need

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7th grader Kendra Michael works on a duct tape pen in her home in Larchwood, Iowa. 7th grader Kendra Michael works on a duct tape pen in her home in Larchwood, Iowa.
LARCHWOOD, Iowa (KTIV) -

Sometimes it's hard to fathom, that one person can make such a big difference in so many people's lives.

One 13-year old from Larchwood, Iowa is running a unique business to do just that.

Kendra Michael says she's always wanted to help others.

But it wasn't until after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that she felt drawn towards a particular group of people.

"My mom went down, and she came back and told me stories of what happened, and then that just broke my heart and I knew that I had to help those Haitians," said Kendra Michael, 7th grader at West Lyon Middle School.

"We just encouraged her and said, 'you know if you really want to go, you're going to need to earn this. This isn't something we just give you,'" said Joni Michael, mother.

After talking to some of the neighbor's grand kids, she figured out how to do just that.

"They just taught me how to make the pens, and so I started making them, and I got better, and then we thought, oh, we should put rhinestones in the middle and make them really cool," said Kendra.

Kendra, now a 7th grader at West Lyon Middle School, started to sell the duct tape pens and raised enough money to make a trip to Haiti.

It's there that Kendra taught 15 Haitian girls how to make the pens.

Kendra then sells those pens here in the United States, over 1,000 to date.

$0.65 of each one goes to Haiti to help families buy necessities.

With each penny she gives, this teen is reminded of the impact it's having for those that have so little.

"They get to go home to their family and say, 'I made this much money today, and now we have food for us, and I just know that it's really making an impact in their lives," said Kendra.

"I really was afraid going to Haiti would break her heart. And yet, I guess that's kind of the point. It did break her heart, but then it broke it and it was able to grow," said Joni.

Kendra recently took her project to a state competition in Iowa where she won first place.

She'll be competing at nationals in July.

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