Eighth Grader Organizes Toy Drive for Lurie Children's Hospital

Kaylee Zillinger donated the gifts to patients at the hospital Sunday after organizing a collection even in the face of adversity

A Chicago eighth grader delivered wagons full of toys to patients at the Lurie Children's Hospital Sunday, all collected in a toy drive she organized. 

Kaylee Zillinger organized the toy drive at Epiphany School on Chicago's West Side. Though she had planned to do the toy drive earlier in the year, what makes her efforts more special is the adversity she faced after a house fire destroyed her family's home in September, forcing her and her mother to move into temporary housing. 

"After I lost everything, people were so kind to us, even people we didn't know, so I felt that this season I wanted to pay it forward to other people," said Kaylee.

"Since I knew what it felt like to have nothing, I wanted to give to children like me, who are in the hospital at Christmas time," she added. 

According to the Epiphany School website, the school raised over $1800 for the Zillinger family after the fire, which "gave Kaylee a stronger sense of gratitude for the blessings in her life."

Kaylee received help in the drive from her mother Kimberly and nonprofit Big Shoulders Fund.

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