BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Nine-year-old Ava Hildebrand isn’t begging for the best new toys this year. Instead, she enjoys being on the other side of the aisle: giving gifts to those less fortunate.
“My favorite part is giving them out and seeing the smile on the people’s faces,” she says.
Ava and her mother Emma make Christmas gifts for homeless people throughout Baton Rouge. They have been doing this for three years.
They’re filled with food, water, blankets, even first aid kits. Emma says she was inspired by a mission trip she took with her church when she was twelve.
“At that point, I really got to hear their story and you know, realize that they’re people too,” Hildebrand said. “And from that point on, I’ve just had such a passion.”
They make the bags around Christmas, but drive around throughout the year, looking for people in need.
She paid for the supplies almost entirely out of pocket before, but this year, she started a GoFundMe page, raising $650.
Emma and Ava usually make around 25 bags, but with the extra money they’ll be making around fifty this year. They say it’s the best Christmas gift they could have ever asked for.
“We just want them to know that we care about em and we love em,” Emma said. They also keep a few bags in their car at all times, so that when they travel, they can hand them out.
If you would like to contribute to Emma and Ava’s GoFundMe visit: https://www.gofundme.com/mec7a-manna-bags-for-the-homeless.