Student donates wagons of love

WELCOME – KayLea Truesdell already knows about the gift of giving.

A third-grader at Martin County West, Truesdell has donated a wagon to the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis every year since she began kindergarten.

“My grandma told me that people donate wagons to the hospital, and I wanted to do that too,” she said.

“They keep wagons at the hospital for children that can’t go outside,” explained KayLea’s mother, Stephanie Truesdell. “So they use wagons instead of wheelchairs. Everything’s more fun in a wagon.”

KayLea raised the money for the wagons by selling cookies at her grandpa’s garage sale during an annual spring event in Trimont.

As the wagon donation became a regular event for KayLea, more people began to help.

“Some people from my grandma’s church, and my music teacher donated,” she said of this year.

By the end of summer, KayLea had collected $400, enough to buy another wagon and a little something extra.

“This was the first year we bought crafts to put in the wagon as well,” Stephanie said.

The idea for the crafts came when the Truesdell family needed to spend time at the Children’s Hospital, when KayLea’s baby sister was born premature last year.

“KayLea got to do some crafts that the hospital gives to siblings,” Stephanie recalled. “She thought it was the coolest thing ever.”

This year, KayLea donated the wagon filled with crafts after hitting the back-to-school sales. It is a tradition that she will likely continue.

“It’s kind of fun to deliver it,” KayLea said. “It feels right, and I know other kids are enjoying what I bring.”