Inspiring Young People: 13-Year-Old Collects Toys for West Africa
“Nearly one million people die of malaria every year and most people are under the age of 5,” said Naomi… “It’s kind of hard to celebrate your birthday if you see a tragedy,” said Naomi. Since then, all Naomi’s birthdays have been about, not what she can get but what she can give… This year, she traveled with her parents to West Africa, to an orphanage in Mali where she handed out dozens of toys and stuffed animals. “You see the kids. Their eyes, just to get a teddy bear. They don’t have anything but the teddy bear was so precious,” said Naomi’s mother Cristina Kodama. “Just seeing them have the toy in their hand and they’re like screaming and being like happy. I never imagined it would be like that,” said Naomi. At Naomi’s request, the toys were all donated by her classmates at West Middle School.