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Westport Teen Raises $1K for Cerebral Palsy Home

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport middle school student Lindsey Felner doesn't get to see her uncle David as often as she’d like because he lives in residential housing at Cerebral Palsy of Westchester . That's why she raised money to buy a computer for his entire residence, so she and her siblings can always be in touch with him.

By reaching out to family and friends, Lindsey, 13, raised $1,000 as part of her Bat Mitzvah project. On Jan. 5, she donated all the money to the nonprofit group, which used it to buy a Dell computer for the residence.

"Around the same time I was thinking of an idea for my Bat Mitzvah project, my uncle was learning how to use a computer and he started sending us a bunch of great emails," said the Bedford Middle School student.

"There aren't a lot of computers there, and there aren't any at the home he lives in, so I thought it would be nice to buy computer for his home, so he can communicate with us more often."

Lindsey's gift doesn't only benefit her uncle — the other 10 adults who live in the residence benefit, too. All the residents there, she said, will now be able to email and video chat with their loved ones, whenever they want.

Because the computer was intended as a Hanukkah gift, Lindsey announced her donation during a holiday party at the center. She and five of her friends from the Westport Dance Academy also performed for the residents.

"It was really exciting to be able to tell them," Lindsey said. "When I gave a speech that I raised the money, everyone started cheering. They were so happy. And I felt really happy."

After seeing the residents' excitement, Lindsey decided to raise more money to buy a computer for one of the center's other residences. She said she hopes to buy a computer for all of the residences.

Lindsey's mom, Michele Felner, said she's extremely proud of her daughter's initiative.

"She gave herself a goal, put her mind to it and reached it," Michele said. "I think it was a great experience for her. I remember in the fifth grade, she read a book about little acts of kindness and how much they mean to the recipients. I think she saw that."

Anyone interested in helping Lindsey raise more money for Cerebral Palsy of Westchester , contact Michele Felner at felner@optonline.net .

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