A’Layah Robinson, 6 years old, experienced great pain after losing her family to drug addiction and being placed in foster care, but used this pain as motivation to do good for others. Her hard work was recognized by her kindergarten teacher, and she received a very memorable surprise.
A’Layah is not an average kindergartener. While her peers occupy their free time watching the latest cartoons and playing outside with their friends, A’Layah spends her free time working to improve the lives of children in local foster homes.
The pain associated with living in foster care is something A’Layah knows too well. Drug addiction tore A’Layah’s family apart and forced her into the foster-care system.
After living with several different foster families, A’Layah finally found a loving, permanent home with the Robinson family.
When asked about her experience in foster care, A’Layah described it, with a single tear rolling down her cheek, as “not very fun, but I had to do it, because I was a foster kid, until I got adopted.”
A traumatic foster-care experience was not enough to tarnish A’Layah’s heart of gold. She came out of the experience with a mission of compassion.
A’Layah’s special qualities were immediately noticeable by her foster mother, Misty Robinson, who emotionally describes A’Layah’s compassion after a deadly tornado tore through Oklahoma.
“She had her birthday money and Christmas money. She saved it all. She was trying to get a Barbie jeep. Whenever the tornado hit just after her birthday, she told me she wanted to give all of her money to a family we know that lost everything,” said Misty to Lance West of KFOR, Oklahoma News 4.
A’Layah’s charity did not stop there; she started an initiative called A’Layah’s Lemonade 4 Love. She wants to provide children enduring the foster system with some small comforts: a teddy bear, a new toothbrush, toothpaste, a bible, a box of crayons, and a blanket.
Each bag is funded from her lemonade sales and each contains more than just material goods; they also contain a little bit of A’Layah’s love. She prays over every single bag she gives out.
A’Layah’s altruism did not go unnoticed by her school staff. Her kindergarten teacher, Tiffany Robertson, submitted her nomination for “Pay It 4Ward,” a program sponsored by First Fidelity Bank and KFOR-TV.
Pay It 4Ward awards $400 each week to “deserving friends, colleagues and acquaintances” who’re nominated by KFOR-TV viewers, according to First Fidelity Bank’s website.
Principle Shannon Muck assembled all of the students for what appeared to be a normal school assembly. Unbeknownst to A’Layah and the rest of her class, a reporter, camera crew, and $400 cash were waiting for her outside.
The reporter and her teacher called A’Layah to come up to the front of the assembly, where they handed her four fresh $100 bills. An ecstatic A’Layah immediately put this money to good use, buying 250 backpacks, 100 full-sized blankets, and 50 baby blankets to be distributed to foster children in Oklahoma.
A’Layah’s mom said it best, “If we had more kids like her, more adults like her, the world would be a much better place.” Hopefully, A’Layah’s kind heart and charitable mentality inspire others to follow in her footsteps.