Katie Goldman, who earned the nickname the “Littlest Jedi” after the Star Wars community rallied to defend her from cyberbullying in 2010, has decided to donate the stormtrooper armor that fellow fans built for her two years later to another little girl fighting the same battle.
Goldman made headlines in 2010 when she was cyberbullied for carrying a Star Wars water bottle to school, Daily Dot relates. Fans of the movie rallied around the first grader, with some of her most vocal support coming from the 501st legion, a fan run organization that raises millions for charity, and builds intricate, screen authentic suits of stormtrooper armor for its members. As The Inquisitr previously reported, members of the 501st were behind a Star Wars-themed funeral for Jack Robinson, walking in full stormtrooper armor for the 4-year-old cancer victim who passed away earlier this year.
In 2012, the 501st themselves were ridiculed online for wearing their armor at the Star Wars Celebration VI, a biennial convention. Katie decided she wanted to be a stormtrooper for Halloween to show her support of the 501st, and when her mother reached out to the group, they launched an international effort to build Goldman her very own suit of stormtrooper armor. Goldman’s mother chronicled the 501st’s charity on her Portrait of An Adoptionblog, in a post titled “Aren’t You A Little Short For A Stormtrooper?”
Initially uncomfortable with the depth of the 501st’s charity, Goldman’s mother, Carrie, agreed to donate the armor back to the organization after her daughter outgrew it. On May 15th, 2014, she received an email from 501st member Brian Troyan who asked “if Katie might be ready to pass along her stormtrooper armor to another little girl who has been bullied.” As she related on her blog, Katie’s mother asked her daughter, with amazing results:
“She asked me questions. ‘Do the other kids hit her? Does she have any friends? Did she tell her parents? Why didn’t the teachers make the other kids stop?’ And then, after I answered to the best of my ability, she simply said, ‘That is terrible.’
“‘So,’ I said, ‘Would you be willing to give Allison your Stormtrooper armor?’
“‘Yes! Of course,’ she answered immediately. ‘That’s a great idea!’ I emailed Brian Troyan to let him know Operation Armor Transfer was a go.”
Katie’s act of charity didn’t end with the armor though, as she enlisted several of her friends to help write notes and cards offering support to Allison, who was bullied and even physically attacked by her peers for her love of Spider-Man and Star Wars. Allison’s mother related that “I think perhaps the letters from the girls meant more to her than the armor itself, and has made her feel like she has ‘yet-to-be-met’ friends out there in the world…something she had forgotten for a while.”
— 501st Legion (@501stLegion) June 16, 2014
The 501st was able to present the armor to Allison at an Autism Speaks event at Soldier Field. Members were on-hand to help Allison suit up in the stormtrooper armor that will serve as a reminder to her “that she shouldn’t ever need to hide who she is.”
[Images via Portrait of An Adoption]