10-year-old St. Johns County girl raising money to help children in need on the First Coast

10-year-old St. Johns County girl raising money to help children in need on the First Coast

Julia Buckley is selling new books to raise money for Blessings in a Backpack to help give food to children in need on the First Coast.

Julia Buckley,10, has learned an important lesson at a young age.

“I already have everything I need,” she said. “I have a house and food and other people don’t have some of those things.”

Her father, Martin Buckley, owns Palm Beach Autographs, a memorabilia store at The Avenues Mall in Jacksonville.

“We thought it be a good idea for Julia to, you know, kind of understand how business works, learn how to make a dollar and things like that,” Martin Buckley said.

When the pandemic hit, they decided that instead of her trying to make a profit, she would donate the money from the sale of books her father gave her to charity.

“We bought 20 or 30 of these from our company and so Bruce Springsteen would sign the inside page, but we take that out and use that for a framed piece,” Martin Buckley explained. “Then we’re left with all these books that are brand new, new edition, new release copies. They’re all unsigned copies. We’re going to have more Bruce Springsteen. We have more Tom Hanks coming.”

With her dad’s help, Julia Buckley has been advertising her books for sale for $5 on Facebook to raise money for the non-profit Blessings in a Backpack.

“They’ll give kids a backpack full of food, but since this is happening kids aren’t going to school anymore, so I decided to raise money for Blessings in a Backpack so they can send food to them,” Julia Buckley said.

In the span of just a few weeks, she has already raised $500.

“People were just giving us donations. They didn’t even want a book. They just saw a little girl trying to help raise money for kids that you know in need to make sure that they’re getting food,” Martin Buckley said.

Serving on the Board of Directors for the First Coast Chapter of Blessings in a Backpack, he knows there are thousands of children in our community who are food insecure.

“In Northeast Florida, it’s one in four kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from and are food-deprived,” Martin Buckley said, “and Blessings has been able to adapt and partner with some really great people who are making sure that as many kids locally here are getting fed on the weekends.”

It’s a mission 10-year-old Julia Buckley is passionate about, and she hopes to raise more money for children in need while using what she has learned to spark change.

“I want to inspire people to donate their time or money or things they don’t need any more to like give it to charity and try to help,” Julia Buckley said.

If you want to buy one of her books and help her cause you can message her father on Facebook or email him at martin@palmbeachautographs.com.