- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Elise Kelderman is a typical 14-year-old-girl: going to school, playing softball and cheerleading. She also enjoys time onstage acting and modeling in fashion shows.

However, this outgoing young lady has struggled with depression in the past.

“I know how it feels when something goes wrong, and I don’t want — like it’s a really bad feeling — and I don’t want any other children to feel like that,” explained Miss Kelderman.

Her experience motivated her to collect toys for children who are spending the holidays in hospitals due to illness or treatment.

“I don’t want them to feel like they are alone and that nobody is looking out for them, so I think this will really help what they are going through,” Miss Kelderman added.

Her goal is to raise $500 in order to purchase art supplies and toys for children at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Children’s Hospital in D.C.

In order to reach her goal, she started a gofundme page online to collect donations. 

Miss Kelderman even caught the attention of some celebrities like Ariana Grande and the Kardashian sisters, who sent her autographed photographs to donate to the older children.

In addition to the sick children spending Christmas morning inside a hospital, there are children whose families cannot afford to put any presents under a Christmas tree.

In fact, nearly 20 percent of families living in the nation’s capital live under the poverty line, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The U.S. Marine Toys for Tots program and the National Center for Children and Families are taking toy donations to give to underprivileged children in the D.C. area.

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