SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Told by her mother that a local family didn't have extra money to buy ice cream and cookies, 7-year-old Helaina Morgan raided her own piggy bank to lend a hand.
The second-grader from Clay, a Syracuse suburb, sent a letter to 3-year-old Essence Fry with $10 enclosed.
"Hi Essence: Here is $10 from me," Helaina wrote in the letter accompanying the money. She told the younger girl she could go to the grocery store and buy whatever she wanted. She added that she likes ice cream and sprinkles.
Essence's mother was the subject of a Syracuse Post-Standard story about working families who use food stamps. Congress is debating whether to cut billions from the program.
Helaina learned of the family's plight when her mother decided to send them a gift card to buy extra groceries.
After Roberta Morgan explained to her daughter that they couldn't just show up at a stranger's house with food, Helaina asked if she could send some of her own money. Morgan suggested $5 but told the newspaper that Helaina insisted on donating $10 from her own piggy bank.
Helaina is the first one to comfort and give a hug to a friend who is hurt or upset, according to her mother.
"My husband, Jim, and I hope that she always stays the thoughtful little girl that she is," Morgan said.