FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — After a long day of third grade, 9-year-old Hailey Hopper works overtime—it’s a good thing she loves her job.
“It made me feel really happy,” Hopper said. “It made my heart fill with joy.”
The 2023 Little Miss Galaxy pageant winner is referring to the Toys for Tots drive she’s organizing and the December “kindness calendar” she developed with her mom.
“It's a calendar all the way to December that's just like you can do a small, like, small super kind things every day,” Hopper said.
The calendar features ideas like "list three things you’re grateful for", "hold the door for someone", or "smile at everyone you meet today" all meant to spread a little joy to the world this holiday season.
“Every one of them was an idea that she came up with,” Hailey’s mom Melissa said. “So it was her own creation that she put together.”
One idea on the calendar includes donating to Toys for Tots, and Hailey is collecting donations for at her family’s silk screening business in downtown Fond du Lac.
“I'm just so happy because I didn't know that I was gonna get this many toys,” she said. “And when I got here, there was already like a bunch of toys here.”
Already, Hailey has collected dozens of toys, which Connie Millard with the Fond du Lac Salvation Army said will make a big difference for other kids.
“Toys for Tots is exactly that, it is love beyond in the most magical Christmas form,” Millard said. “It's this community sharing toys in collection boxes throughout the community, and I think maybe that includes Haley's, to help us accumulate this year a collection that will serve 1,386 children.”
And Melissa Hopper said this isn’t the first time Hailey has made it her mission to help others.
“Since she could talk, she's always been a people person,” Melissa said. “So Hailey has kind of found her unique gift that she really cares about other people. So the more she can be around people it just kind of led to different events.”
The toy drive runs until Dec. 10. Donations are collected at Hopper’s Silk Screening located at 77 N Main Street in Fond du Lac.