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CR Five-Year-Old Helps Tornado Victims

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) It started small.

"Dear Santa, please help the kids in Illinois that lost all their stuff, said five-year-old Alex Van Kerckhove.

In the aftermath of the destruction in Illinois, Van Kerckhove did what would terrify people much older.

"In my imagination, I thought that it happened over here in Cedar Rapids, she said.

"Alex kept asking, "did a little girl live in that house?" and, "did that little girl have a mom and dad? remembered Alexs Step-Mother Kendra Aarhus.

Step one: letting Santa know the kids in Illinois needed help.

"Please give them candy canes too, Alex wrote in her letter to Santa.

But then she started to pack up her own possessions. She included anything she thought kids her age would like.

"I had toys and they had zero, said Van Kerckhove.

That challenged the rest of the household to do the same.

"She said, "You know, we can get more stuff later, they need stuff now, said Aarhus.

Thanks to social media, word of mouth and Hy-Vee, shes not done yet.

"She's raised over 150 bucks and Hy-Vee on Johnson Avenue is giving her some money so that she can go shop for some healthy food, said her father Eric Van Kerckhove.

Because of Alex, more toys, clothes and materials are headed to where theyre needed the most. Youll have to excuse her one request to Santa.

"I would like some fake elf ears, because I am going to be your helper, her letter read.

After all, she has to look the part. She may not be able to fly or clear a building in a single bound, but that doesnt mean she isnt at least somebodys hero.

"If anybody's looking for a role model right now, I've got mine, said Eric.

And thats pretty big.

 
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