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Siblings organize toy drive

Community: Brother and sister find a way to donate to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Posted: March 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 8, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Eleven-year-old Christine Lea-Perkins has long, curly hair, which she loves.

At the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, however, the little girl noticed that some children have no hair.

The sixth-grader asked if she could take some of her own hair and glue it to their heads, said her mother Michelle Lea.

“She was just trying to help,” Lea said.

“I had to explain to her that some children at the hospital are very sick and that sometimes they can’t have what the other children have,” Lea said.

Christine’s experience at the hospital, where she receives treatment for epilepsy and autism, inspired her to organize a toy drive for the kids at the hospital, in time for Easter.

Christine’s brother Christopher Lea-Perkins, a Golden Valley High School 11th-grader, also pitched in.

Christopher’s dream has always been joining the United States Army. He was hoping to follow his grandfather’s steps, who served in the Marines.

Unfortunately, his dream cannot come true: his health condition doesn’t comply with the requirements.

Christopher spread the message to the other cadets in his Air Force ROTC program and, with his mother’s help, made arrangements to make the event happen.

“(With the new toys), a lot of the kids will be happy, and it’ll give them hope to keep on going and living,” Christopher Lea-Perkins said.

The toy, gift card and cash drive will take place in Santa Clarita from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 12, 13 and 19.

Volunteers, including cadets in uniform, will be accepting donations at three local stores.

“It is a wonderful idea,” said Linda Drexel, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ toy donations coordinator.

Drexel said toy drives are a great way to help children at the hospital.

The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles hosts between 250 to 300 children at its facilities; some of them stay at the hospital for months, others for years.


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