ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - In September, News 8’s Katrina Irwin first told you the story of 8-year-old Grace Torok, who collected 300 pairs of shoes to send to children in Haiti.
For her 8th birthday, instead of gifts, Grace asked her friends to donate their old shoes. She started off with a few dozen pairs – then her story spread and before she knew it, she had 300 pairs to donate.
"It didn't surprise me at all, because she has collected stuff for me in the past,” said Grace’s aunt Meghan Lewis. “Grace is a very selfless little girl."
Meghan is a nurse who went on a mission trip to Haiti. She took the shoes with her and handed them out to the kids firsthand.
"We just went into the classroom and kids came up and tried them on, and if they fit, they took a pair and if they didn’t' fit, they sat down and they were all ok with that," Meghan said. "I asked the woman who was there with me, ‘How is this ok? At home every kid gets something.’ And she said that they know god will bless them next time."
The trip was planned well before Hurricane Matthew ravaged parts of the island nation – so Grace's donation took on an even more important role than first thought.
"She told me I was going to help a lot of people with my shoes,” Grace said. “And the hurricane made it even a little bit better to send the shoes."
Meghan's trip was organized by the group Little by Little, which sets up health clinics in Haiti. They saw 912 patients in just five days.
"It’s a lot of routine health care. We act as a primary health care provider. They don't see anyone else,” Meghan said. “People walk for days to get there and they wait in line for days, and if we don't get to them by the end of the day they sleep there and see them the next day. They always come in with a smile and a thank you."
Something that's hard for any of us to imagine – especially someone who's just 8 years old.
"She has a heart of gold and huge spirit,” Meghan said. “And I hope that someday she'll come with me on my trip."
And Grace plans to do that, just as soon as she turns 18.
"I’ll take my donation with me and give it to them myself," she said.
Proof that you're never too little to make a difference.
The group Little by Little does mission trips to Haiti four to six times a year. Meghan plans to go again in 2017.
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