A student at Elm Street Elementary — the student who got the gifts remained anonymous through the guidance counselor — received both toys and clothing from Leah, who originally planned to give presents to children at one of Rome’s local hospitals.
Leah’s mom Diane Fuller — a first grade teacher at Elm Street Elementary School — said her daughter simply wanted to do something nice for someone at the holidays.
“She didn’t know exactly who it was she was giving to this year, but she wanted to do something,” she said.
Unfortunately for Leah, she wasn’t able to fulfill her hospital plan this year because of a dental procedure. Luckily she was still able to give back, like she did last Christmas by taking items for people staying at the Open Door Home.
Leah’s mom says she believes in part that her daughter likes to give because she’s been encouraged to do so by her mother.
“When I talk to them (her daughters) about whats going on at Christmas, I remind them how fortunate they are to get what they have, because there are kids out there who don’t get what they get under the tree.”
Fuller also said she believes the influence of having been around many cultures during her time as a student at Elm Street Elementary also had the positive impact of empathy toward those less fortunate than herself.
Leah was recently one of four kids to be awarded with a certificate for Rome Rotary’s Terrific Kid program in November. The Rome Middle School eighth-grader also has an older sister named Lola, who Fuller said also enjoys giving back to the community.
“She and Lola like to give because I do too,” Fuller said.