Texas girl forms charity sending smiles in a box

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DALLAS, Texas -- When you're a kid and you're in the hospital, you may need more than medicine and medical procedures to make you feel better.

A little girl in Texas understands that, and she's now trying to help bring a smile to the faces of young patients.

According to Emily Lites, the ingredients to make a sick child smile can be contained in a box -- Emily's Smile Box, that is.

"[They] are boxes full of toys and gifts to give to the children and siblings at hospitals," Emily says.

She creates each and every box herself.

"Because I've been through all of this stuff and I know how sad it is and how worried you are when you get there. It's just scary," Emily says.

Emily's brother Jude had a stroke in utero. After he was born, Emily and her family spent a lot of time in the hospital with him and Emily noticed a theme.

"There were a lot of people not smiling and not happy," she says.

So Emily came up with an idea: give these children and their siblings something to smile about in the shape of a gift.

"We took them it in a wagon," she says. "It was like a small little red wagon, and it was really fun."

Since the first delivery of 12 boxes, Emily's charity has really grown. She's created a scrapbook of some thank you cards and pictures of her delivering the Smile Boxes.

Emily has actually delivered over 1,000 boxes since she started a year ago, and she says she won't stop until every child stuck inside a hospital has a Smile Box in their hands and a smile on their face.

"Because I know I've helped a lot of people, and I know they enjoy getting them and that they feel special when they get them, and I just wanted them to feel like that," Emily says.

CLICK HERE for more information about Emily's Smile Boxes and how you can help.

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Kim Fischer, NBC News


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