FAIR LAWN, NJ - Harper Avery Stern, a "Pint-Sized Activist" who earned recognition for collecting 623 rolls of toilet paper to help the needy, is now collecting toys for the holiday season.
Harper stood proudly with her family at the Nov. 27 Council meeting as the governing body proclaimed the next day, Nov. 28, as "Harper Avery Stern Day." She earned the recognition through initiating the organization "Pint-Sized Activists" and her efforts to coordinate a Halloween food collection for the Fair Lawn Food Pantry.
The Pint-Sized Activists Facebook page explains the group as "Two little girls on a journey to help others!"
"We initially started our project as a community service project for Girl Scouts, but social activism has always been important to Harper," Michelle Stern, Harper's mother said in an email over the weekend.
"Harper has attended the New York City Pride Parade three years in a row in support of her friends and family members," Stern said. "She has recently been inspired by Harvey Milk, and a children’s book she read about him and the rainbow flag."
Councilwoman Cristina Cutrone applauded the young lady, reminding the community of what it takes to help others: "Remember, address and act."
Councilman Josh Reinitz recognized Harper's parents, Michelle and Ryan. "They're great examples of Fair Lawn residents. They go out of their way to help and put their stamp on this town."
Reinitz said Harper is a classic example of a "pint-sized activist."
Councilwoman Gail Rottenstrich said such families ultimately "bring more happiness than anything else."
In addition to collecting the toilet paper, she is helping pick out holiday gifts for children in the community, her mother said.
"Harper and her little sister Charlotte are hoping to do other projects to inspire other kids to help out members of their community," Stern said. "A lot of the ideas are simple and easy to organize."