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Teen donates her gifts to needy kids
It didn't take long for Grace Carlyle to write her Christmas wish list to Santa Claus a year ago.

In a few short lines, Grace stated she had a lot of friends and a fun, loving family, so she didn't need anything else.

While the 13-year-old has since stopped believing in the physical representation of Santa, she hasn't stopped believing that she has everything a young teen could want.

She still has her friends. Still has her family. Still has more portable touchscreen devices than she can use at once.

So this Christmas, the seventh-grader at Glynn Middle School told her parents that any gifts they were going to get for her "from Santa" should go to less fortunate children.

"I feel like God put me here for a reason," Grace said. "The Bible says you should help those in need."

Following her faith, Grace, along with her parents, got a wish list from one of the 50 children living at Morningstar Children and Family Services, 100 Marsh Drive, Glynn County, and proceeded to buy all the "swag clothes," which are fashionable clothes that usually display a popular phrase or picture, requested by an unidentified 14-year-old girl.

Grace deviated from the list by getting the girl an iPod. Because the two are close in age, Grace thought the girl would like to listen to music and enjoy the other activities the device provides to escape any real-world troubles, if only for a little while.

Since her parents had just spent hundreds of dollars on the other gifts, they didn't have an iPod on the list. So Grace, who already has an iPhone and iPad, donated her own iPod.

"I don't believe in Santa, but I did discover Santa is a spirit -- the spirit of giving," Grace said.

Every year Morningstar, a home for children unable to live in their family environments, finds individual sponsors to make Christmas dreams a reality for the children living there.

"We usually have companies, churches, (or adults) that are Christmas sponsors," said Wells Kilgore, president of Morningstar. "This is unique, because it's a kid giving to a kid."

* Reporter Martin Rand III covers local news. Contact him at, on Facebook, or at 265-8320, ext. 324.

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