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Posted: 4:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013
By Sarah Rosario
RICHMOND COUNTY, N.C. —
On Saturday night, a 7-year-old Richmond County girl was hoping to raise $10,000 to give to Habitat for Humanity before her eighth birthday.Tatum Rhyne not only reached her goal, but surpassed it on Saturday. Eyewitness News spoke to Tatum and found out this is not her first time she has given her birthday presents for a good cause.Tatum Rhyne looks like your average little girl, but her true passion is helping others, and on her eighth birthday, she gave $10,000 to people without a home."Because I thought helping people would be better than letting them just live somewhere like out there in the middle of the road," she said.This is the third year that Rhyne has donated her birthday gifts to others.At age 5, she donated food to a food drive.At age 6, she collected clothing and shoes to give to a homeless shelter.This year, Rhyne decided to raise $10,000 to give to Habitat for Humanity.Rhyne's mom Jennifer said when her daughter first told her about it, she told her daughter to aim for a smaller donation, like $500."Tatum said to me 'OK mom; I don't come up with this stuff on my own. I've talked to Jesus about it, but if you think I can only come up with $500 that's fine,'" said Jennifer.Jennifer said Rhyne started a Facebook page to make fundraising efforts easier.She said almost immediately donations came pouring in from people in the community, school and church.They also hosted softball tournaments to help her reach her goal.The first donation and first day we had donations open she got one for $200 and one for $300," said Jennifer.In just four months, Rhyne was able to raise more than $11,000.While it is not enough to build an entire house, it will still help pay for just less than a quarter of one for a family in need.The now 8-year-old said she is just glad her birthday wish came true."It makes me really happy," said Rhyne.All of the money raised will go to Habitat for Humanity of the Sandhills. Those are the branches located in both Richmond and Moore counties.
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