Andrew-in-front-of-collectiEight-year-old Fayetteville resident Andrew Fleming will be honored for his years of philanthropy Thursday night at the Fayette County Commission meeting, and again Apr. 16 at the Fayetteville City Council meeting, and it all started with putting others before himself during the summer of 2013.

That summer, Andrew’s mother LaKeisha asked him what kind of a business he wanted to operate for those couple of months. She says she was thinking in terms of making money and learning the value of a Dollar.

“He didn’t want to do a lemonade stand,” LaKeisha says. “He didn’t want to do that stuff. He said he wanted to help people.”

That first summer, Andrew turned his attention toward helping Bloom (formerly Fayette Youth Protection Home) raise needed funds. Last year, the Flemings applied for and received a $400 grant from Youth Service America, which helped them stage a food drive to benefit Fayette Samaritans.

This year, and in fact next week, they will stage another food drive to benefit Fayette Samaritans. Again this year, the Flemings have received another $400 grant through Youth Service America to help fund expenses from the event.

The food drive, scheduled for Apr. 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be staged at the Gazebo in Downtown Fayetteville across the street from the Old Fayette County Courthouse. The event will feature a clown, a balloon artist, giveaways and the opportunity to donate non-perishable food items to Fayette Samaritans.

Andrew is a homeschool student, and LaKeisha says this work project has become a great opportunity to teach her son practical application of what he learns in his textbooks.

“This is a real-life example of how you have to budget,” LaKeisha said. “I make him sit down and figure it out. It’s an excellent lesson in that respect.”

LaKeisha says she is the coordinator of these projects, but she says Andrew “is involved in making the basic decisions.

“This year, because he is older, he is participating more,” LaKeisha said in a Tuesday afternoon telephone interview. “When he’s 10 or 11, you wouldn’t be talking to me. You’d be talking to him.”