Foster Poptops for children on the coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Foster Poptops for children on the coast

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The saying goes "one man's trash is another man's treasure," and 10-year-old Mary Elizabeth Entrekin takes that saying to heart. The youngster is doing her part to make the world a little bit better, one soda cap at a time.

While other kids her age are busy enjoying their childhood, this 10-year-old Gulfport native is busy overseeing her own business.

With help from relatives, Mary Elizabeth has developed her own brand of bracelets, made from ribbons and soda poptops.

The idea to start the business came about when the Mary Elizabeth was playing with a poptop and talking to her grandma.

"I was playing with my Nana at the kitchen table. And we were playing with bottle caps and ribbons, and it came to me putting the bottle caps on the ribbon," Mary Elizabeth said. "My Nana was the first to have one." 

As the bracelets are sold, the proceeds go towards buying duffle bags and filling them with toiletries, clothes, toys and more for foster children.

Alice Entrekin is a community social worker, and she said because of the circumstances she sees many foster children having to face, she's incredibly proud of her daughter.

"They don't have a lot of stuff that's their own, and when they're taken, a lot of times they're carrying their stuff in a garbage bag or a walmart bag or something like that so to have something that's their own when they've been torn away from a situation it is going to make them feel special," says Entrekin.

Regardless of her age, her business venture was intriguing enough to catch the eye of Steve Johnson owner of Scuba Steve Clothing company.

"She gave me this whole business presentation, and I was blown away. I was like, I don't care if you're selling garbage, I'd like to buy everything from you. So she brought a whole bag of bracelets, and I bought them from her," said Johnson.

Along with Johnson's company, there are five other businesses and the Long Beach School District selling the bracelets. Despite her admirable success, Mary Elizabeth said it's not about her, she just wants to make another kid smile.

"Other people should make a difference too and it's not just me that's doing it and it's not just me that everybody needs to depend on. Other people should do it too," says Mary Elizabeth.

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