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Their Stories, and Your Impact


Terri & Kayla Leeper

Small Gestures Making a Big Difference

Kayla Leeper is no millionaire, in fact she’s still in elementary school, but that didn’t stop her from making a donation that changed lives at the Stephenson Cancer Center. Despite her young age, Kayla's efforts to bring toys and games to children battling cancer have brought a smile to kids who need it most, and they serve to show that even the smallest among us can make an enormous impact.

“Kayla is a very caring and loving young lady… On Valentine’s Day she made cards and took them to the nursing home to hand those out to residents. She’s been part of different charities and walks, and that’s just how she is.” Kayla’s mother Terri Leeper says, “Out of the blue one day she said she wanted to do something. We knew about Stephenson Cancer Center because my dad had gotten treatment here. I asked Kayla, and she said that would be a good place to start.”

After selecting and organizing gifts into backpacks and packages, Kayla traveled to the cancer center with her mother to deliver the toys in person.

“She’s really been looking forward to this, and it does make you so happy to help out.” Terri says, “I told her, we might not see the people who receive these things, but we know that how we feel putting it all together is how they’ll feel when they receive them.”

After hand delivering the donated toys, and taking a tour of the Stephenson facility, staff, nurses, and physicians all thanked Kayla for the thoughtful donation. For her own part Kayla says, “I was just happy knowing the toys would go to kids.”

Ultimately, Kayla’s donation proves that all it takes to make a difference is the desire to do so. Terri says, “It’s easy, it’s fast, and it doesn’t matter whether you spend $25 or $100. If Kayla can do it, anyone can.”