WEST WARWICK — When she advertised a retreat her office was hosting to assist women who are healing from sexual assault, Kathy McKeon had no idea of the impact she would have on women of all ages.
After reading an announcement for the retreat that Father Robert Perron, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in West Warwick, posted in his church bulletin, the family of Abigail Paige Saccone contacted McKeon to say that their 10-year-old daughter was moved by what she was doing to help women heal from such trauma and wished to do her part as well.
Abigail, a fifth-grader at St. Joseph School, said she wished to donate from her own saved money $100 to pay the lunch cost for 10 women to attend the retreat.
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“Her offer brought tears to the eyes of the six women who gathered that day for prayer and support,” McKeon said of the retreat, held in April, which is recognized nationally as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
McKeon later visited the school to thank Abigail in person for her generous donation. She presented the young lady with a plant and a letter affirming her tax-deductible donation.
“It was the perfect way to bring them up and start the day,” McKeon told Abigail and those gathered for the presentation, including her parents Michael and Valerie Saccone, of the impact the donation had on those women who participated.
Abigail, who is also an actress in local theater productions, said offering the donation — which was paid for through her theatrical earnings — was something she felt compelled to do.
“I thought it was really sad that the women would have to pay for their lunch after having gone through all that, so I wanted to help,” Abigail said.
Her parents and teacher admire Abigail’s motivation to help others.
“We’re very proud of her. You know you’re doing a good job when something like that happens,” Michael Saccone said.
Her teacher, Linda Dellay, said Abigail is someone you can always count on to do the right thing.
“She’ll help any student who needs anything,” Dellay said. “She’s always very cheerful, willing to do anything and she looks out for everyone.”