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9-year-old Kuna girl helps bring Christmas cheer to hospital rooms

Chloe Lesmeister and her mother are making sure children in hospitals during the holidays have presents to open.

In Chloe Lesmeister's first two weeks of life, she had three heart surgeries. Over the years Chloe and her mother, Julie, know what it's like mentally, emotionally, and financially to spend a lot of time in a hospital.

Chloe's health history is why she decided to raise money to buy toys and gift cards for kids at St. Luke's in Boise who will be spending the holidays in hospital rooms.

"It all means so much to her and she's grasping the concept to what it means to give," said Julie.

Last year, in the span of three months, Chloe raised $1,770.

"I want to make the children happy and make the little babies happy too," said Chloe.

"It was a little overwhelming but in the same breath it was so much fun to do it," said Julie.

Only $5 was left over last year.

"It was just like I can't quit, we have to keep going we just have to try," Julie said.

Since then, Julie has started a nonprofit called Chloe's Heart.

"I was hoping we might get $3,000 at the most," said Julie.

They raised much more than that. They were able to raise nearly $8,400 after several bake sales and donations.

"I think they're going to be excited," Chloe said.

"It's just been such an amazing growth and there's so many people that believe in us and I think it's because of Chloe," Julie said.

Julie says she hopes Chloe's Heart continues to grow and they're able to partner with more hospitals, including the one in Minneapolis where Chloe had her initial surgeries.

Chloe's contribution of toys was delivered Monday night to St. Luke's "Santa's Toy Box." Parents of kids in the hospitals are able to visit the room with all the donated toys and go shopping for free gifts, which will be wrapped by hospital volunteers.

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