What’s Up South Texas! 9-year-old girl buys, donates hundreds of Christmas toys to children in need

Bethany Aguilar has raised over a thousand dollars to purchase toys for boys and girls

San Antonio – A 9-year-old San Antonio girl is showing that her passion for giving is larger than life as she collects hundreds of toys to be donated to children in need.

Bethany Aguilar is a sweet fourth grader who loves to read and play with her Barbies.

When she’s not occupied by that or school work that she studies closely during homeschooling, she is thinking of ways to give back to others.

“Since she was little, we tried to instill that in her to give and to volunteer,” said Mark Aguilar, her father. “She was volunteering since she was too little to even look above a table top. We tried to do that for her and this is what the result is today.”

Elsa Aguilar, her mother, agrees.

“I have always believed in giving to others and I thought that if the one legacy I could give when I pass away is for her to follow through, then I have done my job,” Elsa Aguilar said. “I want her to be thinking first and foremost to give. Life is not always about us.”

For Bethany Aguilar, giving is special to her.

“I like seeing people happy,” Bethany Aguilar said. “I like how their hearts are warm and my heart gets warm…it’s happiness and I like it!”

Bethany Aguilar set out on a mission to help other children in need.

She decided she was going to raise money to purchase and donate hundreds of toys to a nonprofit organization.

“I saw a boy on TV and he was doing the same thing actually and I said I wanted to do the same thing and this is how everything started,” Bethany Aguilar said. “The kids he’s helping are going to feel good too and I thought I want to help too. He was there picking toys and I was like I want to pick out toys too for kids and that is why I said I wanted to do the same thing.”

Her mom said she was hesitant at first, but realized this was very important to her daughter.

“She kept insisting,” Elsa Aguilar said. “So the first thing we did was a lemonade stand in Boerne. Then she started selling succulents and molded crayons to raise money. Then we created a GoFundMe and that brought in more money for her. She has just been selling and that is how we have been able to keep it going.”

Bethany Aguilar has grown into a little entrepreneur.

“We also tried to instill in her that she has to work in life to make her own place in this world,” Mark Aguilar said. “But she can also take a step back and give from what God blesses us with.”

So far, Bethany Aguilar has raised at least $1,600 to purchase hundreds of toys.

“Shopping was good,” Bethany Aguilar said. “We did find a lot of toys but I felt like the kids were going to feel happy and I didn’t want to bother getting a lot of toys for myself. I wanted to give to the kids in need. We got a lot of Barbies and we got a lot of cars,” she laughed. “The kids are going to have a lot to do. They will get smarter too with some of them like learning how to cook. They are going to be happy. They won’t be alone really, like with the dolls. It will feel like they have someone with them.”

The family set their hearts on donating to the Christian Assistance Ministry, which does an emergency toy closet for Christmas to thousands of families in need.

Being a Christian, Bethany Aguilar said she is thankful to have the opportunity to help the organization. She said she thanks God for putting this mission on her heart.

“I like church because they teach about God and how he does great miracles and how he helped Jesus and how he rose from the dead,” she said. “I think he can do miracles right now. Still right now. In church. In the hospitals. Everywhere. This is going to be a happy ending for all of those little children.”

The family is still raising funds to purchase more presents. Bethany Aguilar is now looking at buying bikes for children. If you would like to help on their mission, you can find out how to donate by contacting markagu214@gmail.com.

Also if you would like to see how you can donate to CAM’s Christmas closet or if you are in need of their services, visit their website at https://christianassistanceministry.org.

About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.