Six-year-old Lucy Ajtaji, left, accompanied by her mother Kate Ajtaji, right, donated everything in her piggy bank to the Ashland Kroc Center's food pantry Wednesday, April 16.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ashland Source asked readers to nominate heroes from the community in the fight against the coronavirus. One reader nominated Hillsdale kindergartener Lucy Ajtaji. 

JEROMESVILLE -- Six-year-old Lucy Ajtaji approached her mother last week with her piggy bank in hand. 

The Hillsdale kindergartener had decided to give her savings to “people who can’t buy food” and wanted her mother to help her make it happen. 

“I’m not really sure where the idea came from,” Lucy’s mother, Katie Ajtaji said. “Maybe she saw something on the news. I’m not sure what might have prompted her.” 

Katie contacted the Ashland Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center and arranged for Lucy to bring in the donation Wednesday, April 17. 

The six-year-old got a glimpse of the center’s food pantry and learned how volunteers were boxing up food for the community to pick up. 

“I wanted to count my money, and I thought it was a good thing to do that,” Lucy said about giving her money to the Kroc Center. 

The daughter of Katie and Jon Ajtaji, Lucy loves spending time with her five cats, Facetiming her cousins, coloring and being outside. The family resides outside of Jeromesville.

The money she donated was money from a recent Easter egg hunt in her backyard and from grandparents and relatives at earlier times. It consisted of mostly change and several dollar bills. 

“It was awesome because that’s what you want your kids to do, and she did it on her own,” Katie Ajtaji said. 

The Kroc Center’s food pantry is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.Those who wish to access the pantry’s service are asked to call ahead at (419) 281-8001.


Sign up for the weekly thrive newsletter and get local inspiration delivered to your inbox every Monday.