Seligsons give back through Little Hands charity
Alex and Ashley Seligson believe the secret to living is giving. It’s not a secret they want to keep to themselves.
Since becoming parents a decade ago, they have sought to instill a spirit of service in their children Braxton and Brooklyn, who are students at Mountain Brook Elementary School.
That’s one of the main reasons Ashley started the Little Hands Serving Hearts charity organization in 2017. It provides volunteer opportunities for children ages 12 and under.
“There wasn’t an organization that provided volunteer opportunities for kids,” Ashley said. “There seemed to be a lot of minimum ages to volunteer, and we knew that even our youngest members of the community could still give back in a big way.”
In the pre-COVID-19 era, Little Hands held several service projects each month — from homeless feedings to clothing drives — in which many MBE students participated.
While the virus has foiled the organization’s plans over the past month and a half, it hasn’t prevented the Seligsons from finding new ways to make a difference.
Through Little Hands, they have collected close to $3,000 in tax-deductible donations that have funded the purchase and delivery of nearly 1,500 meals to essential front-line workers at police and fire stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, and post offices.
“They’re right in the thick of it as well, and I think it’s been very touching for them to see that they have not been forgotten,” Ashley said of the essential workers.
The Seligsons have purchased many of the meals from Ousler Sandwiches in Mountain Brook Village. Braxton, a fourth-grader, and Brooklyn, a second-grader, have picked up the orders with their parents. On the way to deliver them, the students have written notes of encouragement for the meal recipients.
“One sandwich can give someone a smile on their face and change their day,” said Braxton, who along with his sister was a nominee for the United Way of Central Alabama's 2020 Student Volunteer of the Year award.
So far, the Seligsons have served police officers and firefighters in Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, and Jefferson County, along with employees at multiple Publix locations, Walmart, Piggly Wiggly, Trader Joe’s, CVS, Walgreens, and other local pharmacies.
They also have made a couple of deliveries to UAB Hospital.
“A lot of these people don’t often get recognized, so we’ve had several people that thought this was a joke…,” Alex said. “They’re just so thankful.”
In addition to feeding essential workers, the Seligsons have organized food and school supply drives through Little Hands for the students at Hayes K-8 School in Birmingham. Little Hands also is serving Hayes students by offering a phone tutoring program to assist them in reading and math.
“One of my favorite sayings is, ‘One person can make a difference, but together is how we bring change,’” Ashley said.
For those looking to perform stay-at-home service projects amid COVID-19, Little Hands lists a few ideas on its website. They include painting kindness rocks, sending letters and drawings to nursing home residents, and using sidewalk chalk to write notes of encouragement to neighbors.
“It’s always the little acts of kindness that make the biggest changes,” Braxton said.
This story is an installment in the Mountain Brook Schools "Good News" series. If you know about good news from the school or Mountain Brook community, please consider emailing your story idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.