Alex Emerson is not your typical teenager. He raises money by publishing a newsletter and then donates the funds to charity. In past years, Alex has donated to cancer research. But this year he decided the money should go to the Washington Hancock Community Agency's Thaw Fund.

He actually lives in Massachusetts, but every summer Alex returns to Brooksville. And he started publishing the newsletter in the first grade!

"I'm not the kind of kid who just hangs out playing video games all day. I'd always liked writing and doing stuff on the computer. It's really interesting to me. I got so much positive feedback after the first one I decided to do it again."

The first newsletters were mostly pictures, but "The Dog Island Point News" has grown over the years. It now contains articles on local happenings and even a word search. He gets many of his submissions from friends and family and does most of the writing himself.

This year, Alex is donating all the money to the THAW fund. This heating and warmth fund is established by the Washington Hancock Community Agency to help buy fuel or pay for furnace repairs for people in emergency situations. Alex said he'd heard family members talk about the fund and decided to use his newsletter to help out.

Photo courtesy of Washington Hancock Community Agency

Inspired by Alex, his grandmother, Linda Emerson decided to jump in with an idea of her own. She's making adorable stuffed monkeys and selling them. Again, all the proceeds will go to the THAW fund.

Never idle, Alex is busy editing a movie he's making. He hasn't set a specific goal for the money he'll raise for the THAW fund. He says he's just happy to do it.

"I really like it because I know I'm helping my local community around here," Alex says. "I might ride my bike past the house that is getting an emergency delivery of oil next winter. It just feels good to know I'm helping locally. You feel more connected to it."