First-grader helps to collect thousands of toys and gifts for families in need

A 7-year-old Georgia bow knows the real meaning of Christmas and is putting it to use by finding toys and gifts for the needy


Santa’s got a little helper giving a helping hand in Henry County, Georgia.

A 7-year-old student, Treandos Thornton, enlisted the help of his first-grade classmates at Dutchtown Elementary School in Hampton to collect toys and food for needy families, something he has actually done since he was 4-years-old, WSB-TV reports.

READ MORE: Black student leader sued her racist online harassers and wins groundbreaking settlement

This year, he collected more than 1,000 toys and food items, a big feat for the little guy.

“I was watching TV, and on the commercial, it was kids crying,” Treandos said. “”I asked my mom, ‘Why are they crying?’ My mom said, ‘Because they don’t have food or toys,’” he recalled.

“When we explained it to him, he seemed to have gotten it, but he said, ‘What can I do to help? His mom Shana Thornton said about the first time he wanted to help. Since then, it’s been a labor of love.

This year, Thornton helped her baby with the big heart by setting up three drop-off sites around Stockbridge.

One of the locations is at the Rising Phoenix Enrichment Program.

“People are hurting nowadays,” said Ashley Gay-Johnson, the program’s executive director. “And it takes a community to step in and say, ‘Hey, I may not know you, but I am here for you.’”

Because there are thousands of toys and gifts to give away, another community group, the nonprofit United Food Force will assist by giving out the gifts to area families.

“They’re helping, right now, a family that lost their home in a fire, a family of 10,” Thornton said. “So they’re assisting with that, and we hope and look forward to our donations helping that family and other families, as well.”

READ MORE: Popular food brand Jennie-O Turkey Store recalls 164,210 pounds of ground turkey

With such a big heart, it’s no wonder that Treandos has plans to work with hearts when he grows up. When asked what he wants to be when he gets older, he said:

“A heart doctor, known as a cardiologist, he said. “Because if people are sick, I can help them.”