For three years now, one charity in the ArkLaTex has been working to grant the wishes of children with special needs.
In the past 3 years, Pay it Forward Networking has helped more than 130 children with special needs, and their network has grown from 500 to 20,000 connections. The organization posts all of the wishes to social media and encourages everyone to share those wishes to help make them come true.
One of those children is 7-year-old, Jolie Reyna.
Jolie has a mitochondrial disease where her body doesn't make enough energy for her vital organs to run.
Because of this, she spends a lot of time in her room.
"I just thought she was surrounded by too many spots and stains," said Tammy Reyna, Jolie's mom.
For years, she and her mom would dream about a room that didn't look like it belonged in a hospital, but life got in the way. That dream finally came true 6 months ago, when Pay it Forward Networking got word of their wish.
"I just wanted her carpet out of there, I needed to find flooring that would be sanitary and still she could play on," said Reyna.
She met with Pay it Forward Networking's founder, Kassi Robinson, to talk about Jolie's wish. After meeting Jolie, Kassi got to work.
"I sort of get used to seeing the community rally, but with Jolie's wish, it was something I had never experienced. With every day I was getting phone calls," said Robinson.
Robinson says that no wish is too small, anyone can help these dreams come true, for instance, sometimes kids just ask for mail.
"Hands down the best part is getting to meet kids like Jolie and her parents. And for me, just realizing how small acts of kindness or something that's so small to someone else is really life changing for these families. And lets them know that they're not alone. They may feel isolated or alone with their struggles, but there's really this huge community of people that want to help," said Robinson.
Pay it Forward Networking runs primarily on donations.
For Jolie and her mom, the kindness of strangers changed their lives forever.
"I still don't know how to say thank you for everything they did," said Reyna.
"I'm really happy I got a new room, and I'm thankful for it," Jolie added.
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