Las Cruces Sun-News/Gannett
For her tenth birthday, Lillyanna “Lilly” Martinez only wanted to help others…
With a birthday right in the midst of the traditional holiday season, Lilly has always seen charity drives for less-fortunate children during this time of year…and that inspired her to do something different for her 10th birthday.
Lilly’s mom Celena Barraza tells a local newspaper about the little one’s bright idea.
“She told me what she wanted to do, so when we sent out the invitations to her birthday party, we asked that everyone bring donations for Jardín de los Niños in lieu of birthday presents,” she said. “We stressed the need for winter apparel — lots of hats, scarves and jackets. Of course, we got a few toys, too.”
Lilly had come up with the idea one morning while listening to The Bobby Bones Show on the radio. During the show, a young child was being interviewed about collecting backpacks for the homeless. One of Lilly’s favorite things is listening to the show’s segment about celebrating good news.
The youngster collected many items to donate such as toys, hats, scarves, jackets, and many others while spending a day passing out gifts and cupcakes at Jardín de los Niños -an organization and educational program providing services to homeless and near-homeless children.
The Bobby Bones Show caught wind of the little girl’s act of kindness and teamed up with Jason Aldean to surprise her with a special gift during a phone interview. During the call Bobby Bones played a message for Lilly from Aldean.
“Hey, what’s up Lillyanna? I heard what you were doing this year, giving your presents to needy kids and it’s unbelievable. I think we need more kids to set an example like that,” he began.
Then, the country hitmaker reveals a truly special surprise.
“We’re going to send you an autographed guitar and we’re also going to get you tickets to any show of mine that you want to come to, meet and greet so I have a chance to say thank you to you in person.”
This young girl has helped so many people out of the kindness of her heart and inspired many other acts of generosity from others. A local resident, Rebecca Weinrich, says that her family has chosen to celebrate Christmas without gifts for each other and instead donate gifts for 25 children at the organization Lilly visited.
What a selfless and truly blessed child! You can check out the full interview below!
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