MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - With careful thought about the sick children receiving each Easter basket, Alanna Worral digs through piles of donations she's collected since this time last year.
“I think of myself as one of those kids waking up on Easter and how disappointing it would be if there wasn't anything," Worral says. "Especially if I was at a young age where I believed in it.”
Worral has spent time at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare a few times starting when she was in kindergarten for an outpatient procedure to remove a vascular malformation.
"It was near Easter and I asked my mom innocently, 'Does the Easter bunny bring Easter baskets to the hospital?'" says Worral. “And she said 'yes,' and I said 'I want to help!'”
That first year Worral put together four baskets, and every year since her effort has grown. She's recruited help from church, her school and solicited donations from businesses including Target. To date she's donated over 500 baskets and preparing another 100 for this Easter.
She's earned national recognition from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, plus she's raised more than $10,000 dollars through the years to purchase diversion therapy items for Gillette's child life department for everything from the latest movies to colored pencils.
“The fact that she says she wants to keep doing it, that's the wow moment,” Jana Worral, Alanna's mom, said. “She's motivated to keep doing it for the kids even though she's outgrown a lot of things that would be in the baskets.”
This year Worral is working with a local girl scout troop who will be donating their own baskets to other children’s hospitals. That means even more smiles this Easter.
“It's just a way for them to have time to be kids even when they are in the hospital,” she said.
Worral was contacted by producers of the talk show "The Real" in December. She was flown out to Los Angeles to tape a segment which will air Friday, April 7 at noon right here on Fox.