Archive for Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Eudora girl gifted with generosity

Local 7-year-old donates birthday presents to Toys for Tots program

November 24, 2004

The gifts were piled up at Liz Kendall's birthday party Saturday, but they weren't the elaborately wrapped parcels a birthday girl might expect.
The Nottingham Elementary School first-grader, who turns 7 years old Wednesday, donated the gifts of Incredible Hulk hands, an Easy Bake oven, and other presents to the Toys for Tots campaign. The program donates toys to children in need during the winter gift-giving holiday season.
It was an idea the first-grader got from the Public Broadcasting System's children's television program "Zoom," said Liz' mother, Denise Kendall. She said her daughter saw on the television program how children had donated and collected books through a birthday party.
When her daughter suggested doing the same thing, Kendall said she steered her daughter toward Toys for Tots, to which the family donated once a year, because of the proximity of the first-grader's birthday to the gift-giving winter holidays.
So on her daughter's birthday party invitations, Kendall said guests were asked to bring a gift not for the birthday girl but for any-aged child. When Liz' dad's boss caught wind of the gift idea, Kendall said the company offered $10 per toy to allow Liz to shop for more toys to be donated to Toys for Tots.
However, the now 7-year-old said she wasn't going completely giftless.
"From my mom I got a new bike," she said, adding that it was gray and purple.
Local Toys for Tots organizer Mary Jones said a child in Lawrence was doing something similar to what Liz did in Eudora.
"I think both of them really need to be applauded," Jones said. "It's neat when kids give to kids."
Aside from the obvious generosity that comes with donating birthday gifts for Toys for Tots, Liz Kendall found another benefit.
"Because then you don't have to unwrap all the gifts and you don't have to open them," she said. "Then you can do something else."

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