(WSVN) - A young girl spent most of the year collecting and donating a truckload of school supplies for children living in a South Florida homeless shelter. Now, she’s got a new mission. 7’s Kevin Ozebek shows us how one girl is providing kids with a special “Christmas Gift.”
The holiday season is a time to give back. For 8-year-old Layla Salcedo, giving to others is something she enjoys doing the entire year, and in a very big way.
Layla Salcedo: “This one is not heavy.”
She spent one afternoon helping her dad and employees at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital unload a U-Haul filled with boxes of toys she collected over the past two months.
Layla Salcedo: “These are not very little.”
Layla has always wanted to help kids going through tough times. She recently started her own charitable organization, called Let’s Be Selfless, and launched a big school supply drive over the summer for children living at the Chapman Partnership homeless shelter.
Layla Salcedo: “It went amazing. We collected over 5,080 school supplies for them, and it just made my heart so happy. It was really fun.”
Layla didn’t want to limit her efforts to just the school supply drive, so she jumped right into her next project. She wanted to make the holiday season a little brighter for kids who are stuck in the hospital.
Layla Salcedo: “Legos and more baby stuff. It makes me feel very happy. It makes my heart feel so happy. It makes me feel that I’m helping out, and I’m doing good in my community.”
With some help from her parents, she launched the Toys for Joy toy drive in October. She wanted to focus on age groups that often go overlooked in traditional toy drives. Her goal was to collect at least 1,000 presents.
At the end of the toy drive, she stopped by the hospital’s Radio Lollipop broadcast to announce her grand total.
Radio Lollipop DJ 1: “How many toys did you raise for us, Layla?”
Layla Salcedo: “One thousand, two hundred and fifty-two toys.”
Radio Lollipop DJ 1: “Oh, my goodness.”
Radio Lollipop DJ 2: “Wait, let’s repeat the number again: 1,252 toys, yes? That is so many toys. That’s incredible.”
Layla also had the chance to meet a few of the patients who will get a special surprise from her on Christmas morning.
Layla Salcedo: “This is just for you. It says Max. Just for you, Max.”
Helping children going through tough times has always been important to Layla.
Layla Salcedo: “Well, I saw that I had a lot, and I really wanted to give back.”
She’s already planning her next toy drive, and hoping that it will be bigger and better next year.
Layla Salcedo: “I hope you appreciate your toys and have a great holidays.”
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