Eight-year-old Alex Fischer loves having her mashed potatoes and gravy on Thanksgiving Day. So the Charlotte, North Carolina, girl set out to do all she could to make sure families in the city could enjoy a festive meal, too.
In early October, the third grader set up a lemonade stand — also selling cookies and brownies — to raise money so she could fill individual food boxes and donate them to Charlotte Rescue Mission, a nonprofit organization that would then distribute the Thanksgiving goods to families in need.
“I think everybody should have a Thanksgiving meal with their families,” Fischer tells PEOPLE. “A lot of people in Charlotte don’t have Thanksgiving meals.”
So, she set out to help solve that issue, vowing to raise enough money to fill 101 food boxes, complete with corn, stuffing, gravy, pie filling and other Thanksgiving meal staples. Soon after, family, friends and even strangers came to her wanting to help, so Fischer and her family set up a GoFundMe page.
The fundraising page brought in $1,705. Along with the $415 that Fischer raised from her lemonade stand and other monetary donations, she raised $2,276 in total. With that, she was able to create 130 boxes and buy 65 turkeys.
“It’s really amazing as a parent to see that the values that you’re hoping to instill in your child are coming to be,” Fischer’s mother, Lisa Fischer, 35, tells PEOPLE.
“It was really sweet to see how many people want to help her and I think they’ve been encouraged by her and then want to help other people as well.”
She and her family began taking the supplies to the Charlotte Rescue Mission’s headquarters last week. The nonprofit organization provides services for people struggling with addiction. And Tony Marciano, the president and CEO of the organization, praised Fischer for her good deed.
“I think it was incredibly generous of her to do it,” he tells PEOPLE. “It speaks of her compassion for other people and she didn’t have to do it. Often times children would rather buy toys or electronic devices and instead she chose to think about others. And that was huge.”
Lisa says this is the second year her daughter has done this good deed around Thanksgiving, and it doesn’t look like she’ll be stopping any time soon.
“Now people can have a Thanksgiving meal with their families,” Fischer tells PEOPLE. “It made me really happy and excited.”