Local 11-Year-Old Starts Christmas In July For Kids At Arkansas Children’s Hospital

JOHNSON, Ark. (KFSM) — When Amberlee Pink was younger she became very sick.

"They found cysts in her liver when she was about five and so she had a lot of procedures to drain those to see if that would help," Amberlee's grandmother Cindy Bailey said. "She was in a lot of pain. She could just be playing and then drop to the floor, crying."

Amberlee spent years in and out of hospitals and even had part of her liver removed.

One of the few things to brighten her day was a toy from a stranger. That's why after she got better, Amberlee decided to start Christmas in July.

"I decided to start this toy drive because I was in the hospital for a while and I just wanted to give back to Arkansas Children's Hospital," Amberlee said.

She started the toy drive when she was just 7 years old. Now at age 11, she has no plans of stopping.

"Last year I did $500, and the year before that $600 and I don't know what the first year was but this year I'm hoping to get closer to $700 or $800," Amberlee said.

During the three-day event, brand new toys will be collected, food can be purchased, and gift baskets will be raffled off.

All of the proceeds raised go to Arkansas Children's Hospital.

"It makes me tear up," Bailey said. "She wants to help others just like people helped her. It just makes my heart feel happy that she has the heart to help others."

The Christmas in July toy drive starts Friday (July 19) and goes through Sunday (July 21). A tent set up on the corner of Main Street and Hewitt in Johnson where toys can be dropped off.

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