FORT VALLEY, Ga. — A 15-year-old from Kathleen received a surprise she never believed she would receive from the organization she works hard to support.
On Saturday, several people came out to participate in a 5K, running to give toys to the tots.
Toys for Tots is a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. They've been giving toys to kids for Christmas for 75 years.
It's all for a good cause, and Kaylee Jones received the highest recognition for the work she's been doing since she was only a tot herself.
Like Kaylee, kids who go above and beyond for the program can be recognized as national ambassadors.
"So to me, it's really about kids helping kids, and I just really want to make a difference," Jones said. "I just want to make Christmas a little brighter for each one of those kids.”
The Veterans High School varsity cheerleader, became involved with Toys for Tots when she was seven.
She says organizing the 5k allows her to raise more money for the kids who need it most.
"Seeing these families have the biggest smile on their faces when they get to receive these toys it's just the best part of what I do," said Jones.
With just two months to prepare, her dad Jonathan Jones says being proud doesn't begin to describe how he feels about the work she's put in.
"She kind of went crazy with it, you know? She set up business meetings, and met with business owners and did everything on her own," he said.
And doing it on her own is why there was something bigger waiting in store for Kaylee Jones.
Jones didn't believe she'd get it, but to her surprise, she was chosen to be that ambassador.
A national youth ambassador for the Toys for Tots program, that is.
"I'm like blown away right now. That is crazy," she said.
And it comes with many responsibilities she's ready to take on.
"I'm just really grateful for such a great team to help me get to where I am today," said Jones.
This year, Jones raised over $8,000. That's $3,000 more than what she raised last year.
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