A young girl saw a homeless person and decided that for her 7th birthday she wanted to do something for the homeless instead of having something for herself. Her unselfish act has had a breathtaking impact on the community.
It began when Kayla Soto who would be 7 years old this month was asked in advance what she wanted for her birthday. She had seen a homeless person outside in the cold. She gave great consideration to what she would like and decided unselfishly that she would rather have blankets to give to the homeless than presents for herself.
Kayla started a drive with the help of her mother and father to collect necessities for the homeless. They asked people to donate blankets, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hats and other items. The young girl had hoped that she would be able to collect as many as 50 blankets to help the less fortunate in the area through the tough winter months.
She was shocked to find out that her efforts had richly paid off through the generosity of people who supported her kind spirit of giving. She had collected over four times her goal. 200 blankets had been collected along with other items. Of course with such abundance there was another problem. How to distribute so many items now?
Kayla’s mother contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Kennison. The Department went right to work. Several deputies became involved with this operation. Deputy Hector Figueroa of the Temple, Ca. Sheriff’s Station who was only too happy to help was of major assistance.
Deputy Figueroa had some ideas as to where best to donate the items. They could all be donated to a shelter in El Monte. But there was such a great outpouring of support that other shelters may also receive rewards from the drive.
A series of Facebook posts, videos and updates were put out under the name of Operation “Kayla’s Kovers”
To date Operation “Kayla’s Kovers” has received over 300 Blankets that will be donated throughout the community.
One of the many posts from the Temple Station of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department was as follows:
You will not believe what happened. . .
During the Holiday Season, Temple Station participated in “Operation Warmth “a project gathering warm coats with the intention of providing warmth to the homeless population of Los Angeles County.
7 Year old Temple City resident Kayla and her family heard of the project. Kayla and her family have been advocating for the homeless by providing food and assistance to those they saw in need. Kayla had a wish for homelessness to end, and after seeing a homeless person in the cold wanted to at a minimum to provide the warmth of a blanket. Kayla said she did not want gifts for her birthday, instead she asked for blankets for the homeless. Kayla’s mother contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Kennison, who organized the Operation Warmth Project for guidance on how to proceed.
Temple Station would like to help fulfill Kayla’s birthday wish for blankets and we need your help. We are asking for you to bring in a new or clean used blanket to Temple Station 8838 Las Tunas Drive in Temple City so we can get them packaged to donate to local homeless shelters under the “Kayla’s Kovers” project. Also useful would be hygiene items, such as tooth brushes, small toiletries, and knit caps. Please bring your donation to Temple Station by March 2, 2016.
There is still empathy in the world, and sometimes it takes children to take the lead and make things happen. Let’s move a mountain of blankets.
Deputy Hector Figueroa