By Dawn De Busk
Staff Writer 
NAPLES — Nine-year-old Maddy Stone hadn’t even been out of bed 15 minutes yet her focus was zoomed in on painting a tree-shaped sign that lights up.  
After all, the days until Christmas are counting down.
Maddy spends every waking moment making holiday ornaments and embellishing the evergreen wreaths her grandmother secures for her. Maddy stays busy, creating Christmas decorations and putting her special touch on wreaths in order to sell those items. She is selling them in order to use the money to buy Christmas gifts for five children she knows in her community.
“I am an elf this year,” Maddy said on Monday evening. 
She has set up an arts and crafts factory in the family dining room. Her mission is to make and sell the wreaths and ornaments, and use the money to buy gifts for the children she knows. The job is not too hard since Maddie loves doing crafts. 
“I would rather do arts and crafts than anything. I like being creative and making things with my own special touch,” she said. 
While she is working on a wreath or a decoration, Maddy says, “I think of Christmas because the reason I am making them is to make some little kids have a good Christmas.”
She worries that she is behind schedule. 
Her mom, Tammie Stone (Doner) put the fundraiser on community Facebook page in Bridgton and Naples, and they sold nine wreaths so far. 
Tammie is very proud of her daughter.  
“She knows that kids aren’t as fortunate as others,” Tammie said. “I think it is so great. I love the person she is becoming. She wants to do wonderful things to make people happy. Even with all the things that she is going through, she still cares more about making other children happy rather than herself.” 
Maddy has Crohn’s Disease, auto-immune deficiency, and asthma. She was born two-and-a-half months early, which caused a lot of medical problems, Tammie said. 
Despite her ailments, she finds joy in comforting others. Last year, Maddy made homemade gifts for friends at school. This year, Maddy decided to make certain a group of siblings did not go without gifts for Christmas. 
“Her Mamie (grandmother) and Maddy and I were taking about some people we know might not have enough money for Christmas gifts. They came up with the idea of selling wreaths that her Mamie knows how to make. Maddy decided to call it Maddy’s Creations,” Tammie said.
Her grandmother took some of the decorations to the church, but didn’t sell very many of them. That is when her mother decided to reach out on the community Facebook pages. 
“We sold nine wreaths. She put her sign on the porch. The wreaths were lined up. I tried to arrange it when she was home. She met a few people. They told her how proud they were of her. It made her feel so good and special. It made her want to do even more,” Tammie said.
Maddy said she met some of the customers.
“They told me they liked them. They were proud of me for thinking of other kids at Christmas time. It made me feel good,” Maddy said. 
The people who bought wreaths were impressed by Maddy’s concern for others, her mother said.  
“I find it really unique that a little child this young is so into helping others and making sure others are happy. She is a loving, quiet, sweet, giving, wanna-make-everybody-happy type of girl. She feels bad for everybody. She tries to find ways so that somebody isn’t sad or worried.”
“Art is her favorite subject,” Tammie said, adding that her daughter would like to combine two professions: an animal doctor and an artist. 
“I want to be an artist and a veterinarian. I want to paint pictures of people and their animals,” Maddie said.
Any time Maddie gets money, it goes toward buying craft supplies.
“Whenever we go to Walmart, I go get crafts supplies. You know how they say you’re a kid in the candy aisle, I am a little kid in the craft aisle. I like it because I get to get everything in the craft aisle because not everyone goes there, and I get first pick,” she said.  
Maddy described herself as “creative. I think of others. I’m thoughtful, kind.” 
Maddy said the best activities for Christmas are: “Spending time with family, giving gifts to others, making dinner, making kids happy, and wrapping presents.” 
There is lesson that Maddie is living. 
“In our home, it is better to be rich in the heart and poor in the pocket,” Tammie said.  
“It is better to give than to receive. Maddy has lived by that. It is always better to give. It makes you feel really happy and special. Over the years, she has gotten that, she has found joy and happiness by putting smiles on people’s faces and just making them happy. She always thinks of others before herself.”