PARMA, Ohio — When Kimmie DiBenedetto puts her mind to something anything is possible.
“I like to do things and I like to do them big,” she said.
Her birthday is late November and about six years ago, instead of presents, the Parma resident asked her friends to bring canned goods and non perishable items for the Parma Hunger Center and donations for the Parma Animal Shelter.
“This is my way of being able to give back,” she said. “Rescues are very near to my heart. I have two, myself.
But this year’s fundraiser has turned into much more than just friends and family donating items.
From Monday to Wednesday, her driveway at her home 5902 Velma Ave. in Parma will be a donation drop off spot. She’s asking for monetary donations, non-perishable food items, or food/toys for the animal shelter.
“No donation is too small, as I always say,” she said.
Those small donations have already added up in a big way. On Monday, DiBenedetto already raised more than $2,200, just in monetary donations. She said she will split the money down the middle and donate, equally, to the two organizations.
She said most people who donate have learned about the fundraiser on Facebook.
Claudia Kuznik lives in Parma and found out about it via a Facebook community group.
“As I was scrolling through, I saw she was having this event and I asked what it was for,” said Kuznik.
Kuznik didn’t know DiBenedetto, but she wanted to help.
“I went to the store today and bought some dog and cat food to donate because it's an important cause to me,” Kuznik said.
Tuesday evening, DiBenedetto will even have the most famous dog in Northeast Ohio stop by, Chomps.
“From 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m Chomps the Browns’ mascot is going to be here taking pictures and just hanging out,” she said.
With a little help from the Browns, DiBenedetto is also hosting a raffle, everyone who donates to the fundraiser will be entered into it. The winners will get an autographed item from Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett, or Nick Chubb.
DiBenedetto hopes the donations genuinely help the community.
“It’s the new normal we live in, people are still struggling,” she said.
But she, also, hopes it is a reminder to give a little grace to one another.
“We do live in a dark world, right now, a lot of divide, a lot of neediness. I’m hoping my good deed, pay it forward, right? Someone turns around and does something that helps somebody else and hopefully, it creates a snowball help of good things,” she said.
Click here for more information about her fundraiser.