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9-year-old girl receives Young Achiever Award from Erie County Legislators

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 18:34:57-05

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — To the naked eye, Nyla Moore looks like your typical fourth grader. Cute, innocent, and eager to learn. But there’s more to Nyla than what meets the eye. For the past two years, Nyla has made it her mission to collect winter clothing for the homeless. Her campaign, Warm Hugs for the Homeless, was inspired by a conversation Nyla says she had with her late mother and God.

“I was just like sleeping and then I felt all of a sudden that I had to do something," Nyla said. "I asked my mom what I can do and she told me I can help her by helping the homeless.”

“So the next day, I woke up and I was on the phone calling all over the place trying to get someone on board to start this," her grandmother Lisa DeSabio adds.

That’s when Paula's Donuts stepped in.

“Paula's Donuts has been helping me and without them this campaign would have never been here,” Nyla said.

Paula allowed Nyla to use all three locations to collect winter clothing and in one year, Nyla has seen her donations more than double.

“Last year I had 8 barrels and now I have 19.”

Nyla’s grandma Lisa says Nyla gets her generosity from her late mom Kayla.

“Kayla was that individual that was always giving back like on certain holidays or just during the week. Like mom I’m going downtown to feed the homeless.” And she even believes that Kayla initiated the special recognition Nyla received in class on Thursday.

“It might seem crazy to other people but not to me," Lisa said. "I do believe it came from Kayla. [Jessica Schuster] called at 8:09 and 8:09 to me is when Kayla passed, so of course it was Kayla coming to us saying 'hey, I'm here. I'm helping you even though I'm not physically with you."

Two county legislators came to Nyla's fourth grade classroom to present her with the young achiever award.

“We really wanted to take the opportunity to thank her for really making a difference in her community and teaching this lesson to so many," Lisa Chimera said.

“Maybe other boys and girls will be inspired to do it too," Nyla adds.