WHAT'S WORKING: Local girl gives up gifts for others

BATAVIA TWP., OH (FOX19) -- 'Tis the season for children to make a list of things they hope to get, but this year, one local girl decided to do something a little different. Melana Nassar's birthday falls five days before Christmas. She wants one thing for her big day: to make sure others get what they need.

Nassar loves Christmas.

"Because that's when you get to spend time with your family, and drink hot cocoa, and stay in your pajamas all day!" said Nassar.

It's also just days after her birthday, which is the big day this year, but Nassar doesn't want any gifts. She just wants the chance to give to others.

"Ohmigosh," said Nassar. "I'm pumped!"

The nine-year-old is still having a tenth birthday party.

"Well, this is going to be a whole charity themed party," said Nassar.

She's been planning for months. But this year, Nassar is asking her guests to celebrate her big day by giving donations to those who need it the most.

"Charities like some of the troops overseas," said Nassar. "Anything like that. St. Jude's hospital, and the homeless shelter."

Guests just have to bring the items to her "Hope for the World" party on Friday evening. Her mom, Bobbi Evans, was happy to spread the word.

"Everybody at our church is of course thrilled," said Evans. "We've been announcing it for months at church. I've been kind of putting the word out, emailing everybody and Facebook, and everything. Just kind of telling everybody if you're cleaning out your closets, don't throw anything away. Save it for the party."

And people have done just that. Friends and family have already donated at more than three large garbage bags full of coats, clothing and toys.

Nassar got the idea after visiting a homeless shelter with her grandmother last summer.

"We just saw the kids," said Nassar. "They were so depressed. I just wanted to help them."

She hopes the spirit of giving is contagious.

Mom and grandma couldn't be happier.

"Words cannot express," said Evans. "Super proud!"

But remember, Nassar is a little girl so giving up birthday gifts is one thing, but a girl has to have a little fun. Nassar will get a few gifts for Christmas.

If you'd like to drop off donations, you can bring them by the church on Friday.The party will also be held at the Real Life Assembly of God Church in Batavia. It all starts at 6:30 p.m.

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