It might be early to start thinking about Christmas, but one Glenwood Springs teen has been working hard all year to make sure underprivilieged kids around the world having something to smile about this holiday season.
Alida Eide is a teen whose passion is helping others.
"I like to help people," said Eide. "I want to by a psychiatrist when I'm older because I just love to help people."
Even though Alida is just 13 years old, she's been helping people for nearly ten years.
"I think from very little we always wanted her to see that there are other people in the world that need other things," said Nancy Eide, Alida's mother.
Since she was 3, Alida has been involved with Operation Christmas Child, an organization that collects shoebox presents and delivers them to needy children all around the world.
Alida looks forward to making the presents every year.
"It helps everybody," said Eide. "We're trying to make the world a better place, so we might as well start small."
This year, however, Alida's efforts are anything but small. She hopes to send the charity 250 boxes. She has 150 of them already made.
Alida's parents say they've always stressed the importance of volunteering to their daughter, but are blown away by how much it's become part of her life.
"I'm really proud of her," said Nancy Eide. "It's really neat because she really does get involved and she really does like to help people."
Alida says it's taken months of work to put her plan into action. She's counted on donations from several local businesses and members of her church to gather the necessary supplies. It's taken her several weeks just to wrap the shoeboxes.
Alida likes to put toys, school supplies, and toiletries in each of her boxes. She says the most important thing she gives, though, is a small stuffed animal.
"We all have our blankets," said Eide. "They don't have anything to cuddle with so I want them to have something."
Alida says she's glad to have the opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life. She encourages others her age to get involved.
"You're never too young to do anything in the community," said Eide.
Operation Christmas Child hopes to send 8 million shoebox presents world wide this year.
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