Nine-year-old girl sells scrap metal to buy presents for children in need

Local News

Nine years old with a heart of gold.

Baylie Mayfield of Knoxville, Ill., runs a Christmas-related business called “Junk for Jingles” that’s a bit different than other businesses. With the help of her family, she collects scrap metal and then sells it to make money so she can buy presents for children in need. The children she shops for are the ones on The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree in Galesburg.

Baylie does this for a simple reason: to make other children happy.

“I don’t actually get to hand them their Christmas gifts, but I can envision them, seeing them, and being really happy,” Baylie said. “I get good Christmas presents, and why shouldn’t they?”

Baylie first got the idea in October 2020 when she was at the scrap yard with her father, Eric. She saw him get money for scrap metal and thought of the Angel Tree, to which her family would normally donate a few gifts to each year.

“Baylie said, ‘Well I wonder if I could get some more scrap metal and use that money to sponsor the kids. I want to use my own money to pay’,” Eric said.

After raising money all year since last Christmas, Baylie was able to buy gifts for more tha100 children on the Angel Tree.

“This year my goal was 100 and I passed my goal by one,” Baylie said. “I bought 101 kids (gifts).”

It’s a selfless act the The Salvation Army in Galesburg greatly appreciates.

“Baylie and her family hand-pick out every toy for every child,” said Meghan Templeton, director of operations for The Salvation Army in Galesburg. “This has a huge impact on our Angel Tree program that we do.”

Even Baylie’s younger sister, Harper, helps out. The four-year-old uses a magnet to check and see if certain scrap items are aluminum, metal, or something else and then helps put them in separate bins.

“I check if like the metal is aluminum, or like scrap, or like metal,” Harper said.

After a long year of collecting, selling, and shopping, Baylie and her family have already started accepting scrap metal donations for next year. You can find them on Facebook at their page, Junk for Jingles.

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