SCOBEY, Mont. - Three girls in Scobey, Mont. are holding an event they hope will spark inspiration for kids across the nation.
After they found out their idea for Hands Across America had already been accomplished, they reached out to its founder, and are now bringing a version of that experience to their own community.
The Williams sisters are planning Hands Across Scobey, an event where people from all over are encouraged to link hands June 1 to form a continuous chain across their city to raise money.
"We were just sitting at the table during lunch, and I brought it up of how I always thought it would be cool if people could hold hands all the way across the world. My mom said that would be a little bit big, so I said okay maybe across America. She said that's still kind of big. We even came up with a name for it, Hands Across America," said Anna Williams, 13 year old.
They soon found that on May 25, 1986, more than 6.5 million people participated in a nation-wide event called Hands Across America to raise $15 million for charity. They contacted the founder, Ken Kragen, via email, who said he very frequently hears from people asking to re-create the experience that took 9 months, millions of dollars, and thousands of volunteers to accomplish, but this was the first time one really caught his eye.
"What was special about the request that I got from Anna Williams and her sisters, I just felt that they were trying to do something so enormous, and it was so wonderfully child-like and naive in a way. I was impressed because that's something that you need if you ever want to go out and accomplish these amazing things," Kragen explained.
He encouraged them to localize the event, and helped them come up with Hands Across Scobey to raise money for Brick by Brick Home for Kids, a foster home, and Daniels County Fair children’s activities. They are now full steam ahead.
"America seems to be not as united as it used to be. So we kind of want to show unity and that people can work together," stated Joy Williams, 13 years old.
They may be young, but that's not stopping them.
"There's a verse in 1 Timothy 4:12 that says, 'Let no man despise your youth,' so I think it would be cool if more kids across America did this in their communities," dsaid Grace Williams, 11 years old.
That might just happen. The event is from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Roseland Park in Scobey, Mont.
If you want to donate, send checks to Tim or Ruth Williams, PO Box 463 Scobey, MT, 59263. Make sure to write Hands Across Scobey in the memo line.