Local 6th Grader Supports Girls Ranch Through Keychain Business

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PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY AMBER WHITE

By Maddie Joiner
For the Opelika Observer

Following a tragic accident last weekend that involved the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch, the Lee County community has rallied around the group to offer support and love. One of those supporters is 11-year-old Kyleigh White from Opelika.

White runs her own keychain business, with the help of her mom Amber. When Kyleigh caught news of the tragedy, she wanted to help.

“So, I just explained to her what it is and what they do and she just kind of was like ‘Mom, I’m so blessed, like, I don’t have to struggle’ and that’s when she wanted to help,” said Amber.

The idea quickly formed in Kyleigh’s mind to make and sell a bunch of keychains, then donate the funds to the ranch. Amber then posted on Facebook to get the word out, saying Kyleigh had a $5,000 goal.

Amber’s post got traction and orders started flowing in fast.

“In less than 24 hours of me posting the very first post for her, she met her goal of $5000,” Amber said. “It is insane how many people love her and support her. She just turned 11 yesterday, so she met her goal on her birthday.” 

Amber said as of Friday, Kyleigh has over 1000 orders they are working on. Of those, a majority are non-local orders that will be shipped off to customers.

As her mom, Amber is beyond proud that Kyleigh came up with the idea to donate to the Girls Ranch.

“It makes me proud that she did this all by herself, and that she can come to me, and she can tell me, ‘Mom, we have to be the hands and feet of Jesus’. She’s so excited to take this check to those girls and just to see her get it and understand how we’re supposed to serve our community. That’s what makes me so happy – is seeing her happy and excited to serve others.”

Amber and Kyleigh are currently working on getting a huge check printed so they can present it to the Girl’s Ranch one day next week.

“I’m really happy I get to present the check to them in like a week or so,” Kyleigh said.

The sixth grader started making keychains when her mom got a laser machine for her door hanger business. Kyleigh, the oldest of five kids, wanted to start making money to pay for her own Starbucks drinks and help with her gymnastics lessons.

“So, that’s kind of how it started, just her wanting to be more independent. She was very sweet and thinking that she could help me and her dad,” Amber said.

Kyleigh and Amber create the keychain designs themselves and Amber does the laser work. Kyleigh does everything after that, including adding the tassels, the key jumps and then packaging them into the bags.

Kyleigh has multiple designs on her website, but her favorite is the one that says “Worthy”.

In addition to making key chains, Kyleigh does gymnastics and plays softball. She will be a sixth grader in the fall at Opelika Middle School.

To buy a keychain by Kyleigh, visit her website at www.inclusivelykyleigh.com/.

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