Nikki's Blankets: Girl donates blankets to Orlando homeless - FOX 35 News Orlando

Oviedo girl's Christmas tradition: Donating blankets to Orlando homeless

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Christmas is a time for giving, and for one Oviedo middle school student, that means giving away blankets -- more than 6,000 of them.

Nikki Kingsland is like most 12-year-old girls. She loves hanging out with friends and spending time with her family during the Christmas holidays.

But she also spends a lot of time taking care of what's become her young life's work: Helping homeless people.

When she was 8 years old, "we saw a video at my elementary school and it showed homeless people and the shelters and the sheets on the beds and cots, and they were so thin, I knew I wanted to do something about that," Nikki said.

So she started her own charity called Nikki's Blankets.

The first year, she spread the word through family and friends. Her fledgling charity collected 500 blankets. She spent several hours on Christmas Day handing them out at the Coalition for the Homeless in Orlando.

The next year, word continued to spread, and Nikki collected more than 1,000 blankets.

Then, in 2011, a local company agreed to sponsor the drive and promoted it on Orlando radio stations.

Soon, Nikki and her family were virtually buried with 3,500 donated blankets -- an amount they could barely handle without a lot of help.

This year, she continued her work, minus the sponsorship and radio promotion. Nikki's Blankets still collected more than 1,000 blankets, plus 75 backpacks, bringing her charity's total donations to more than 6,000.

Today, on Christmas Day, she handed out the final 350 blankets at the Coalition of the Homeless at the last of her events this year.

She vows Nikki's Blankets will be back next year, and she plans to continue her work "forever."

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