Cleveland Heights: Children start grassroots gift drive

9:42 AM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS -- A grassroots gift drive is going on right now in Cleveland Heights.

The word-of-mouth effort started with two children who wanted to help spread the holiday cheer to those in need.

Kayleigh and Nathaniel Mooney, the two children who started this push, say they feel lucky they're able to open presents on Christmas. It's something they know not everyone will be able to do and they wanted to help change that, one gift at a time.

"When you get something, it makes you feel happy and you get to be excited and open the presents and see what's inside," Kayleigh explains.

For 10-year-old Kayleigh, nothing is better than Christmas morning, and now she wants to help other kids in her community experience that same incredible feeling.

"I felt like if I woke up on Christmas morning, and there was nothing under the tree for me, I'd just feel so bad because it's Christmas and that's what it's supposed to be," Kayleigh says.

Kayleigh and her nearly 7-year-old brother Nathaniel are now asking people to help donate presents to children in need.

Their dad, Kevin, says it started with them seeing homeless people on a cold day.

They had talked about donating blankets and then came up with the idea of a gift drive.

"The thing that is marvelous to me is the fact that they know how to give so they understand love and tolerance about people in the community -- people they've never met -- and I think that's what we are supposed to be teaching our kids," Kevin Mooney says.

For Nathaniel, the reason to help out is simple.

"People should donate stuff to people who can't afford presents," he said.

If you'd like to donate a gift, the Mooney family says they are collecting presents for kids between about 2 and 11 years old. From now until Dec. 14, you can drop off wrapped and labeled gifts at Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy in Cleveland Heights.

All gifts will be donated to Family Connections and handed out to families in the Cleveland Heights area.

For more information, please email Carly Borstein at or Kevin Mooney at


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