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First-grader gives year's allowance to charity (w/ video)

By Carolina Astrain
Jan. 1, 2014 at 12:03 p.m.
Updated Dec. 31, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.

Emily Strieff, 6, plays in the living room of her grandmother's house. Emily plans to donate half of her $78.98 allowance to children at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital who are battling cancer and the other half to Habitat for Humanity.

Emily Strieff was watching cartoons on television with her younger brother when a commercial about children with cancer appeared.

For the 6-year-old Trinity Episcopal School student, it was the first time she had been confronted with the disease.

The commercial and her awareness of children living homeless on the streets inspired Emily to give up a year's worth of allowance - earned from chores, soccer goals and good behavior - to children with cancer and children without a home to call their own.

She arrived at her grandmother's house one day after Christmas and expressed her intentions.

"They just really need a home, and they just really need someone to take care of them," Emily said Tuesday.

Kathy Stimson and her husband, Ken, helped their granddaughter count her money.

An assortment of coins and bills rested in a clear plastic piggy bank.

"She really does have a sweet disposition," Stimson, 62, said. "She may serve as an inspiration to other children."

After a final count, the family determined Emily had earned $78.98 in allowance money over the last year.

Emily, who enjoys shopping for clothes, said while she knows she could buy a nice outfit with her money, she'd rather it go to children in need.

Her grandparents, inspired by her generosity, have decided to match Emily's donation, her grandmother said.

Cameron Strieff, 5, was surprised to hear about his sister's announcement.

Unlike his sister, he plans to keep his allowance, Cameron said.

"Cameron, yes, you do need to donate the money to the children," Emily said.

"I don't know," Cameron said with slight hint of hesitation, shifting his shoulders nervously.

Half of the donation will be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the other will go to Habitat for Humanity, Stimson said.

And Emily plans to do the same in 2014.

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