By Ashley Smith | November 13, 2019 at 9:21 PM EST - Updated November 13 at 10:33 PM
CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Last year, at the age of 11, Ava McErlane was able to donate 200 toys to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital around Christmas.
This year, she wants to double that number. She says she knows what it’s like to be stuck in the hospital and she wants to be the change for other sick kids.
“I love helping people because it just makes me smile and I love seeing other people smile,” Ava said.
Ava has a lot of reasons to smile. Just a few days after asking for donations for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, she has already collected dozens of toys.
“I wanted to do this because I know how it feels to be stuck in the children’s hospital and I wanted to help them out,” she said.
Ava had surgery when she was 9-years-old and had to stay in the hospital for about a week. She remembers getting toys and now she wants to repay the favor.
Last year, she was able to donate 200 toys to kids in the hospital on very short notice.
Ava’s mom, Elizabeth McErlane-Miller, remembers how she felt when Ava first told her about this idea.
“My heart busted because she just cares about so many people and always wants to do something for someone else. So it wasn’t really a surprise to me," she said.
Ava has a wish list for donations on Amazon.
“Other people just see the spirit that she has inside of her,” her mom said. “She’s just one special girl.”
Ava explains that she thinks it’s important to help those that are in a worse situation than yourself.
“I feel like if you just get stuff for yourself, when you grow up you won’t see that other people are struggling with harder stuff than your life. And I feel like with helping people you could get much more out of it," she said.
If you would like to help, you can find the Amazon wish list here.
Those gifts will be sent directly to Ava’s house.
You can also e-mail Ava’s mom, firstname.lastname@example.org, or stepdad Tom Miller, email@example.com.
Or call Miller at 513-200-7968.
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