Dear American Girl,

I would like to start raising money for a charity that I care about, but I don't know where to start. I want to make a difference in the world, and I think collecting donations for this cause would be a great way to do that. But I'm just one girl! Does anyone have ideas for how I can raise money and help this charity in a big way?

Here's your advice:

Start by doing something simple. Ask an adult if you could make ice pops or lemonade and sell them to people at a stand in your neighborhood. If people know you are raising money for charity, they might be more willing to buy something, so don't forget to make a sign that explains your cause.
-Erin, age 11, Michigan

I wanted to raise money to buy puzzles for patients in the children's ward in a local hospital. Even a small thing like a puzzle can make a big difference to somebody. I asked friends and family to donate, and I gave out handmade bracelets to those who donated. I attached tags to the bracelets that thanked them.
-Jessica, age 13, Wisconsin

What are your interests? If you love pets, you could hold a dog wash. If you love baking, you could have a bake sale. Find something you love and go with it. And remember—have fun!
-Crystara, age 12, Texas

Spread the word and tell your friends and family about the cause you care about. Maybe when they have extra change or dollar bills, they could give the money to you. They also might tell their friends and family about it, and pretty soon you could be collecting donations from lots of people.
-Luna, age 11, New York

Ask a parent if you could hold a family garage sale and donate the proceeds to the charity you want to support. That way, your family could also get rid of lots of things that you don't need anymore.
-Avery, age 9, Indiana

You don't have to help a charity in a huge way—every little bit helps. You could donate some supplies. For example, if you want to help students in need, the charity would probably need pencils, notebooks, and erasers.
-Emily, age 13, Delaware

Get a group of friends together and tell them about your passion for this charity. Ask for your friends' help and think of ways to raise money. Then you'll have lots of people helping you.
-Bekah, age 12, New York

If you get an allowance, put aside part of it for the charity. You can also save money you receive from holidays and birthdays. If you save up, a small donation might become a big donation before you know it.
-Sarah, age 13, Ohio

I think you should talk to your parents and get some ideas from them. They can help you brainstorm ways to collect donations or help you contact the charity to ask how you can help.
-Katie, age 10, Wisconsin

Start your own business, such as babysitting or dog walking. Set prices and spread the word. Set aside the money you earn for the charity. It will take time, but keep on doing what you think is right.
-Madeline, age 11, Michigan

For your next birthday party, instead of asking for presents, ask for money or supplies to donate to this charity. It could be a great way to help.
-Bianca, age 10, Washington

Start out by doing kind deeds. Ask a parent if you can volunteer in your community, do nice things for neighbors, and help friends and family in other ways. Start small and work your way up to helping a charity in a big way.
-Julia, age 13, New Jersey

It's important to give back to the world, and it can start with just one person. Remember that while you cannot do everything, you can always do something. You may be able to give only small contributions now, but eventually others may join you in your cause.
-Iris, age 10, Michigan

You might be surprised at how much one girl can do to make a difference just by making a few tweaks. Do you get an allowance? Put some of it aside for donating. Do you have free time on the weekends? Look into attending a local walkathon or volunteering at a fund-raiser. Every little thing counts!
-Amelia, age 13, Washington

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