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Local teen gathers donations for Afghan refugees instead of gifts for her birthday

Posted at 7:45 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 23:17:01-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — As roughly 100 refugees from Afghanistan prepare to resettle in Colorado Springs, one local teen is stepping up to help before they get here.

Instead of birthday gifts for her sixteen birthday party, Callie Smith asked her guests to bring donations for Afghanistan refugees.

"A few years ago, I had a birthday party and I had fifteen people come. My friends are really generous and brought all of these gifts, and afterward, I didn't know what to do with them. So I decided the next year, I would pick a charity and have them bring donations instead. So I decided to do it this year as well," said Smith.

Guests brought large bins of different items to donate to the refugees.

"A bunch of hygiene items like shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant inside. Cleaning supplies as well," said Smith.

"I was surprised with the amount of things people brought. I thought it would be a few things, but there was one person who walked in and it was bag after bag after bag chock-full of cleaning and hygiene products," said Courtney Smith.

Courtney and Tad say their daughter's kind gesture didn't surprise them.

"It's definitely very typical of Callie to think of others. She's always been the type to notice if someone is eating lunch alone in the lunchroom and invite them over," said Courtney.

"A lot of young people don't know how to process these difficult things that are going on in the world, and they don't know how to deal with it. Being able to do something and take action allows them to process it and understand that they do have power in this world and control over this situation. I think it's very helpful for them to be able to engage in activities like this," said Tad.

Callie says it feels good to help those in need, and help make a difference in the afghan's lives.

"I have a lot, and I feel like I need to give back to those who have nothing," said Callie. "If you can donate, you should because the people in these situations have tough lives and if there's anything we can do to help them we should."