Ashlee Smith – Bringing Back Toys and Hope to Kids Who Have Lost Them

When Ashlee Smith was young, she suffered a tragedy. Her family had a house fire, and Ashlee lost her favorite things – her toys. Ashlee’s dad is a firefighter, so Ashlee saw her tragedy happen to other kids as well. In 2007, after her dad fought a bad series of fires, Ashlee decided she wanted to help kids who lost everything in fires. So she started a toy drive to bring back toys and hope for these kids. That was the beginning of Ashlee’s Toy Closet.

Ashlee’s Toy Closet now helps kids all over the country. It collects toys and gives them to kids affected by natural disasters. Ashlee has also begun helping out after the earthquakes in Haiti, helping rebuild orphanages there and starting a “Pennies for Orphans” drive to help out too! Here is a video that tells Ashlee’s story.

Additional Resources:

Check out Ashlee’s website!

Here’s a website that honored Ashlee as one of their “amazing kids”.

Topics for Discussion:

  • How would you feel if you lost everything you had in a fire, flood, or other natural disaster?
  • How is Ashlee like you? What makes Ashlee unique?

Take Action:

  • Ashlee collects toys. What could you collect to help people in your community?
  • Check out the Toys for Tots website to find out how you can donate toys to a good cause!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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