CENTER, TX (KTRE) - Once again the people of East Texas went above and beyond; this time, they came together to make a little girl's Christmas wish a reality.
After KTRE News did a story on December 12 about a 7-year-old Center girl who asked her mother to donate her Christmas presents to children at LSU's Children Hospital in Shreveport, the gifts for sick kids poured in from the community.
"I want to say thank you so much for getting Gracie's story out there," said Jamye Boyd, Gracie Boyd's mother. "We had a very successful toy drive."
In an e-mail, Jamye Boyd said the people of East Texas donated so many gifts that it took three vehicles and 10 people to get it all to the hospital Monday. She added that because there were so many gifts, they will continue to distribute the gifts throughout the year.
"We cannot say thank you enough to all the people who helped make her Christmas wish come true," Jamye Boyd said.
Gracie Boyd was inspired to perform this sweet act of Christmas kindness earlier this year. For weeks, she watched her best friend, Brooklyn suffer inside the ICU at LSU's Children's Hospital after an aspiration left her in a coma.
It was in that moment that the 7-year-old Center girl decided to sacrifice her Christmas gifts this year in order to give those less fortunate the Christmas they always dreamed of.
"I know that other people around the World are sick in the hospital and I want them to have a Merry Christmas," Gracie Boyd said in a previous East Texas News story.
Jamye Boyd said her daughter came up with the idea after she discovered that some kids her age were suffering.
"She came to me out of the blue and she didn't want to have any Christmas presents this year…she wanted to give them to the sick children in the hospital," Jamye Boyd said.
Toward the end of November, the family started asking the community for help. As of Dec. 12, the Boyd family had already received two large trash bags full of gifts, five smaller sacks, and more than $500 in donations.
By Dec. 23, the donated gifts filled most of a small room. The gifts included stuffed animals, dolls, arts and crafts supplies, Legos, model cars, and sports equipment.
"I want to them to have fun with my toys and I want to give them away for the kids because they can have a merry Christmas," Gracie Boyd said.
Brooklyn has since recovered and is doing better each day, and Gracie said she is so excited to give kids like Brooklyn a chance at their own merry Christmas.