By ROBBIE EDWARDS
MT. VERNON — — Christian Social Services received a shoe donation on Monday at the regional office from an unlikely donor.
Ava Tolley, a 6-year-old from Belle Rive, made an impact with a small idea that came to her over the summer.
Tolley heard a radio commercial about a shoe drive and told her mother she wanted to help.
Tolley told her mother Jennifer Tolley she wanted to help and have a shoe drive during her birthday party. Instead of having her friends bring gifts she wanted them to bring shoes for children in need.
Jennifer said she was proud of her daughter for coming up with that idea, but didn’t realize she would remember it by the time her birthday came around in October.
"It was the summer and her birthday was in October. But when her birthday rolled around Ava said, 'Remember mom, I want to have a shoe drive,'" Jennifer said.
Tolley was able to collect 20 pairs of shoes that ranged in several different sizes. Tolley and her mother decided to bring the donation to CSS. Tolley and her mother met with Cassidy Beck, development/communications specialist and Kaelin Pierce, licensing specialist of CSS. Beck and Pierce both said they were touched when they found about Tolley and her idea for the donation.
"It says a lot for someone that is so young to understand the concept of giving to others in need. It just warms my heart," Pierce said.
Pierce and her son attended Tolley's birthday party and Pierce said Tolley was extremely excited to see all the shoes and to see the box fill up with donations.
The shoes that Tolley donated will be used to help the children out of the 13 counties the Mt. Vernon regional office services.