Cleveland teen keeping kids warm through "Toboggans for Toddlers"
CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY (WRCB) -- A teenage girl is hoping to inspire her community this winter.
She's started a project to collect 2,000 "Toboggans for Toddlers". A leadership class at Cleveland High School sparked the idea, but senior Sandy Ha credits her upbringing. She says she was raised by a single mother who always pushed her children to give back, because every little bit counts.
Sandy says it's all about the little things.
"I can't provide them with a wardrobe, but a hat, it's simple," she says.
Sandy Ha has collected 600 toboggans, her goal is 2,000. She makes it a point to deliver every hat herself. Except for the shipment she sent to Honduras. She couldn't make that trip because she works 15 hours a week on top of high school and classes at Lee University.
"I wanted to be the one to drive and sacrifice the time to deliver them myself," Sandy says. "It's just the act of charity."
So far, Sandy has made trips to several local elementary schools, pregnancy centers and safe havens from Cleveland to Nashville, and her favorite - Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. All in hopes of keeping less fortunate children warm this winter.
Fighting back tears, Sandy says, "It's so sweet to see the smile on their face when the get the toboggans. And just to know there's parents out there who don't have a dollar to spare to buy the hat."
Sandy says it's just as emotional knowing good people are out there who are willing to donate gently used or new hats.
Her leadership teacher, Cleveland Wrestling Coach Eric Phillips says Sandy has gone above and beyond. He says she's setting a remarkable example, and it's catching on in the community.
"When they don't just listen to you and they apply it, and you see it become contagious, and people say I wanna be like that," Phillips says. "It gives you reason to get up in the morning after a tough loss."
You can help Sandy reach her goal of collecting at least 2,000 toboggans by dropping off hats at either Cleveland High School or at her mothers salon, Nina's Nails at 3525 Keith Street Suite L.