9-year-old raises cash, item donations for Randolph Homeless Shelter | News, Sports, Jobs


The Inter-Mountain photo by Edgar Kelley
Paula Mullenax, left, representing the Randolph County Homeless Shelter, accepts a donation check for $520 from fourth-grader Laila Cade, 9.

ELKINS — Anyone looking for kindness and selflessness in today’s children need look no further than to a 9-year-old Elkins girl, who without the urging of anyone, took it upon herself to brighten the lives of many people she doesn’t even know.

Laila Cade, a fourth-grade student at Highland Adventist School, told her mother, Danielle, that 2020 has been rough for everyone and that she wanted to do something to help others. So Laila decided to make a Christmas box and take it to her school to collect some pantry items for the Randolph County Homeless Shelter.

“This is the second time that she has done something like this,” Danielle Cade said. “Last year she decided to do something similar around Valentines Day. Honestly, she just does all of it out of the kindness of her heart.”

After urging others to help out, Laila’s box began to fill up with mittens, hats, scarves, blankets and food. During the process of gathering the donations in the box at school, she decided to take a Christmas bag and go around collecting blankets on her own.

And if gathering a box and bag full of items wasn’t enough, Laila came up with another idea for her and her family to do this season. Instead of handing out presents to one another this Christmas, she urged them to take the money that would be spent on gifts and donate back to the Homeless Shelter as well.

“She contacted some family members and gathered monetary donations from them,” Danielle Cade said. “She started about a month ago and ended up getting a good amount from the small cash donations she got from our family.”

On Tuesday, three days before Christmas, Laila delivered all of the items she had collected to the shelter, and in the process handed officials a check for $520, which was attached with a note containing all the names of family members who decided to help rather than exchange gifts.

Those names include: Margaret Bryant, Gabrielle Bryant, Karen Bryant, Genevieve Difilippo, Thomas Bryant, Silke Bryant, Jenna Bryant, Maja Bryant, Lilli Bryant, Patty Bryant and Danielle Cade.

“Laila has always had a good heart and has always wanted to give to other people,” Danielle Cade said. “We just kind of did it as something fun back when she was a little younger, 3 and 4 years old. We would bake cookies at Christmas back then and take them over to the shelter. But the last couple years she has gotten into doing more for those less fortunate. The kindness she has in her heart is truly amazing.”

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