JOPLIN --- When 9 year old Cee Cee Creech from Campbellsville, Kentucky saw the devastation from the Joplin tornado on T.V., she told her mom she wanted to help.
The day after the tornado hit, Cee Cee broke out her yarn and knitting needles and started making homemade elephants. Now her labor of love is helping benefit Homes of Hope. As the old saying goes, "Elephants never forget." And neither does Cee Cee.
She introduces herself via a YouTube video as, "...the little knitter from Elephants Remember Joplin. I use the money to help tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri." Her knitted elephants have helped raise over $10,000 which has gone to various organizations to help Joplin. Her latest efforts are going to Home of Hope.
Charlie Brown of the organization explains, "We auction them off and we raffle them off to raise money for local non-profits here in Joplin."
For the past two days, people have stopped by McAlister's Deli for a chance to win one of the homemade elephants. Ten year old Christopher Andrew bid on a few of Cee Cee's elephants tonight and tells us, "Well, kids can change the world and it's being pretty good to Joplin because we need more money for the people that lost their homes."
Restaurant employees say they were more than happy to lend the space for the fundraiser. Associate Manager Joshua Bussey says, "Our whole management team's glad to be a part of it. To be able to help just do what we can. To rebuild this community in any way."
And every penny from these raffles will go directly into building homes for tornado victims. Right now, Homes of Hope has 3 houses under construction and 17 planned. Brown explains, "We're looking to raise a million dollars so eventually we're looking to raise that much. And we know we can do it."
Homes of Hope will be a McAlister's with CeeCee's elephants tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you cannot make it, the elephants will be raffled again August 27th - 29th at the same time.