While plenty of children are dreaming of all the gifts Santa will bring them at this time of year, one Forsyth County girl decided she wanted to help the Christmas dreams of other children come true.
Marin Roberts celebrated her ninth birthday on Dec. 13 with a party the next day.
But rather than having her friends bring her gifts, she asked her mother, Kim, to have them all bring donations for the Marine Corp Toys for Tots program, which provides Christmas gifts to children in need.
Kim Roberts said she was deeply touched by her young daughter’s request.
“I was flabbergasted because it was all her idea,” she said. “She was like, ‘I have enough stuff and there are people who have nothing.’
“I was just really floored and I was so proud just to think about how at 9 she would think more about people not having something than about herself.”
The birthday party ended up collecting nearly 50 toys for the program, although Marin Roberts didn’t walk away completely empty handed.
“All of the parents were just like, ‘What a special girl, especially at that age since that’s an age where you really think a lot about yourself,’” her mom said.
“So there were several of her friends that brought gifts for Toys for Tots and something for her. There were several of her friends that were like, ‘Her heart’s so big we couldn’t leave her out of her own birthday.’”
The elder Roberts said her daughter was inspired to give to the long-standing Christmas drive by her father, Charles.
“He started a drive at his office years ago … so I think that inspired her to want to follow in his footsteps,” she said.
The young girl has also learned about giving back from the rest of her family, which includes older sister McKinnon and younger brother Charlie.
“We have volunteered with Act Together Ministries [in Alpharetta] quite a bit, so she has been exposed to service nearly her whole life,” Kim Roberts said.
“Also since we home-school, it’s easier for us to do more community service than for some people.”
She added that her daughter hopes to encourage others to give back. “Hopefully she’ll inspire other kids to do more generous things. We need more of that, more service-oriented children, especially today.”