For The Madera Tribune
Leia Garcia celebrated her 3rd birthday on May 3rd with a Peppa Pig Parade and Food Drive and collected 486 cans of food to donate to the Madera Rescue Mission.
When Leia Garcia was asked what she wanted for her birthday, all she said was she wanted to give food to the needy children.
Her parents, Gerardo and Angela Garcia, held a drive-by birthday parade to celebrates Leia’s third birthday. In addition, Leia collected 268 items of food to donate to the Madera Rescue Mission for her birthday. As of Thursday, the number of items increased to 324.
Leia is a product of the Madera County Foster Youth program and has been an adopted daughter of the Garcias since 2019. The Garcias wanted to teach her to give back at a young age, thus the food drive.
The goal was 103 cans since it was her third birthday.
“The community stepped up,” Angela Garcia said.
The family expects more to come in this week and will donate their collection to Mike Unger with the Madera Rescue Mission next week.
Leia said the poor children like popcorn so she also wanted to give popcorn to the children.
“She was excited and was doing her Peppa Pig dance whenever she got a donation,” Angela said.
In addition to family and friends dropping by for donations, Fastway Chicken, and Mojo’s Catering Restaurant gave Leia meals and gifts.
Giving back is nothing new to the Garcia family. Son Ryan, a senior at Madera South, held a socks and underwear drive for the Madera County Foster Youth program and collected more than 800 items.
Daughter Emily Garcia organized a food drive for the Madera Rescue Mission and donated more than 200 items two years ago.