Quincy girl has a love for giving to other children
Riley Trent of Quincy has a giving heart even at the tender age of 5 years old. Her parents, Cindi and Louie, have cultivated this attitude of giving for some time, even letting her choose a family at church to treat to a lunch. Riley knows all about random acts of kindness.
It is in this spirit that, with some encouragement from her parents and her neighbor, firefighter Nigel McNeill of Grant County Fire District No. 3, Riley decided to donate some of her stuffed animals to the fire district.
“When we sort through them she gets rid of a lot of them,” Cindi said. “It really surprises me.”
According to her mom, Riley has given away about three large garbage bags full of stuffed animals; already twice this year she has made donations to the fire district.
The stuffed animals play an important role when firefighters respond to emergencies involving children or families, McNeill said.
“We use stuffed animals when we go on emergencies,” he said. “It provides comfort and helps us to do our jobs. It helps the kids to turn their focus. When I tell Riley, ‘You helped someone out today,’ she knows what I am talking about.”
Riley enjoys helping others while getting rid of unwanted toys at the same time. For her it’s a win-win. There are a couple of stuffed animals she’s not quite ready to relinquish. One of those is her favorite – a Dalmatian.
“We know Nigel,” Louie said. “He told her how when they go to an accident they can give an animal to a kid to keep them calm. I think that’s awesome. We have been trying to teach her to give.”
Riley’s favorite part of donating her stuffed animals is giving to others, she said. She looks forward to giving away more in the future.
“It is really good to get rid of stuff and help people,” the little girl said.
McNeill is most impressed with how a child so young can get so excited about giving back to the community.
“It’s a really cool thing,” he said. “For someone who is almost 6 who gets it and wants to help other kids – it’s great.”
— By Tammara Green, QVPR contributor