9-year-old Missouri girl donates money from lip balm business to help kids with autism

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Nine-year-old Mariah Turner runs her own business, selling lip care and bath products – all of which she hand makes.

"Me and my mother just looked up different ways to make natural lip balms. We looked up different ways, and we watched a few videos. Then we tried it," Mariah said.

She launched the business out of her family's Kansas City home a year ago to help her parents. She wanted to help pay for different costs that come along with raising her younger brother Manny, who lives with autism.

"It's really not all about having fun, selling the lip balm. She wants to make an impact. She knows exactly what her parents feel. She feels the emotion," Mariah's mother, Maude Turner, said.

Now she helps organizations that help other kids just like Manny.

So far, she's earned $750 – a majority of which she's donated to Ability KC and Autism Speaks.

"It actually makes me feel really special because I feel that I have helped kids," Mariah said.

Along with raising money, she also helps raise awareness. Mariah started a program that helps kids learn about autism at her school in April.

"(Manny) means a lot to me. Ever since he was born and I discovered that he had autism, I felt the need to protect him from all the bullies out there," Mariah said. "I didn't want him to feel that what he does isn't enough for us. I just felt the need to protect him."

She's made a big impact in a short time and hopes to keep advocating for her little brother and others.

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