NFMAA students learn the joy of giving - | News, sports, community info. - Cape Coral Daily Breeze
Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Staff Contacts | Home RSS

NFMAA students learn the joy of giving

December 6, 2018
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The holidays will be a little more special for some this year, thanks to two students at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts.

Shyann Walker and Taylor Reis, second- and third-graders, respectively, are collecting toys and pajamas for other children.

For Shyann, giving is second nature. As a kindergartner, she donated all her Halloween candy to the National Jr. Honor Society to pass out to children at Golisano Children's Hospital who could not go trick-or-treating.

Article Photos

Shyann Walker, North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts Principal Thomas Millins and Taylor Reis. Shyann and Taylor are giving back this holiday season.

Shyann has also organized a Holiday Toy Drive for the hospital, now in its third year.

Shyann said it is her parents who have instilled the importance of being a giver.

"I asked my mom a lot of questions about these children. Some of them can't go home for Thanksgiving, so I asked if I can help them by giving them toys and my mom said maybe," Shyann said.

Since Shyann had little money to buy the toys herself, she got some help from her mom and she not only got those children toys, but convinced others to give as well.

Shyann said it's important to give children with health issues the opportunity to have a Christmas while they are treated at the hospital.

"If they didn't have Christmas, it would be sad because they can't spend all day with their family. That's why I do the presents and put them everywhere so parents can pick them up and bring them to their room," Shyann said.

Shyann had great success when she started doing it as a kindergartner two years ago. Last year, donations slacked off a bit, so she is making a renewed effort to get more school and community involvement to help her cause.

Those interested in giving toys can drop them off in the NFMAA front office, Donations will be accepted until Dec. 17.

Taylor, meanwhile, said she wanted to help children in foster care by giving them pajamas and blankets, since many of them have little.

"I talked to my mom about it and told her I wanted to help my community. I thought about the pajamas," Reis said. "I want to help all age groups."

Taylor contacted a local organization called Donate for Kids and started collecting pajamas

In a short period, Taylor, a Cape Coral resident, collected more than 150 pairs of pajamas, bringing her attention on the local and national level.

In October, Taylor and her mother, Ari, appeared on the Steve Harvey Show to talk about their story. Harvey was so impressed that he got Leveret, a pajama company, to donate $5,000 in pajamas.

"I was nervous because I have never been on TV before, but I was on the news before Steve Harvey and I felt OK because I got to be interviewed at my house," Taylor said. "It felt good talking to him because my dad watches Steve Harvey."

Taylor now has more than 250 pairs of pajamas and expects to raise more.

"It feels good to give because these people can get what they need. You can't get everything you want and some people don't get anything," Reis said.

NFMAA Principal Thomas Millins said both girls exemplify the best the school has to offer.

"All our kids are amazing, but these two girls stepped up to the plate not only to give back to the community, but when a child does it, it says a lot about them, their upbringing and who they are," Millins said. "Many people think only about themselves. These girls are the opposite, and the lesson their parents have instilled in them they have taken to a new level."



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web