Delivering Smiles One Box at a Time

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Emily Lites knows how to make a child smile.

    She's the 11-year-old creator of Emily's Smile Boxes, a charity that gives out boxes filled with games, toys and stuffed animals to any child who has to spend time inside a hospital.

    Emily creates each and every box herself, packing boxes with small gifts to put smiles on the faces of children in the hospital.

    "Because I've been through all of this stuff, and I know how sad it is and how worried you are. When you get there, it's just scary," she said.

    Emily was inspired to create the "smile boxes" after her own experiences in the hospital with her younger brother, Jude. Jude suffered a stroke in utero and spent time in the hospital after his birth. It was there that Emily noticed a theme.

    "There were a lot of people not smiling and not happy," she said.

    So she came up with an idea -- give these children and their siblings something to smile about.

    Her first delivery was 12 "smile boxes," carried up in a small red wagon. Since then, the charity has grown -- Emily and helpers have delivered more than 1,000 "smile boxes" since starting a year ago.

    She said she won't stop until every child stuck inside a hospital has a smile in their hands -- and on their face.

    "Because I know I've helped a lot of people, and I know that they enjoy getting them and that they feel special when they get them, and I just wanted to feel like that," Emily said.

    This weekend, she plans to hold a "Smile Party" to produce more than 200 boxes at the Grapevine Convention Center.

    For more information on Emily's Smile Boxes head to the website: www.emilyssmileboxes.com