TRAVERSE CITY — Brooke Adamczak recently decided to donate a small fortune from her piggy bank.

Brooke, a 11-year-old from Traverse City who’s entering 6th grade at West Middle School, donated a total of $140 to local charities from money she had saved since she was little and she received for her birthday.

She donated $60 to Traverse City Area Public Schools to pay off unpaid lunch balances of students her age, then spent $80 on groceries at Meijer and took them to the Salvation Army.

“She just just totally randomly came up to me one day and said that she wanted to help people in need,” Nikki Adamczak, Brooke’s Mom said.

At the beginning of June, Nikki threw her daughter a surprise party just after she graduated fifth grade.

Nikki, who taught kindergarten the last few years at TCAPS, felt like fifth graders didn’t get everything they’ve worked for because of the effects the coronavirus pandemic had on education.

“My husband and I threw her a surprise fifth grade celebration last week of school and a bunch of family members came in,” Nikki said. “She got $20 here and $40 there.”

The celebration was fitting. Brooke turned 11 that same week.

Brooke told her mom she wanted to donate some of the money she received to different areas around town and help people in her community. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Brooke would continuously ask her mother if she could donate

The two started to brainstorm sending money to places like Munson Healthcare and the American Red Cross, landing on the idea to impact the people she sees every day.

When Brooke returned with the groceries, it caught the eye of the family’s neighbor, Anne Dechow, pretty quickly.

“I just marveled over what she was doing,” Dechow said.

Dechow, who splits time between Indianapolis, Indiana and Traverse City, said she has watched Brooke grow from the time she was a baby.

When Brooke was 5 years old, Dechow remembered she brought a plate full of cookies over to her 80-year-old mother for a surprise.

Dechow said if her own children did what Brooke did for charities, it would have been “over the top.”

“You just don’t find kids that age that even would think to do that,” Dechow said.

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