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10-year-old boy organizes toy drive for Afghan refugee children in Houston

Gibrael Siddiqui was able to collect enough toys for more than 500 children with the help of his schoolmates.

HOUSTON — As millions escape tyranny in Afghanistan, a 10-year-old boy has brought his community together to bring comfort and support to refugee children here in Houston.

Gibrael Siddiqui worked with his classmates at The Village School and the An-Nisa Hope Center, a non-profit organization that brings resources to families in crisis, to collect enough toys for more than 500 children.

Gibrael said he was inspired to help while watching news about the families who fled their homes in Afghanistan after the Taliban came into power.

"We know that they have lost a lot," Gibrael said. "And we wanted to donate some toys and make them feel welcomed at home."

He got to work, and with the help of his family and community, was able to collect the toys and host an event Saturday at the An-Nisa Center.

RELATED: Houston agencies hoping to raise $8.5 million to resettle Afghan evacuees

During the event, they were able to distribute the toys as well as essential items. Families also enjoyed KONA ice, face painting and other activities.

“It is beautiful to see children coming together to help others who are less fortunate. Not only is it reflective of positive parenting, but also a terrific school environment," Marketing Director Safra Khan at the An-Nisa Hope Center said.

Gibrael said he got a lot of support from his siblings, friends and schoolmates. He said they worked together to create posters, organize the toys and set up drop-off boxes.

"It makes me feel warm inside seeing all these kids and all their smiles. How they're all playing together and eating KONA ice, and how it's all nice and sweet," Gibrael said. "It's really exciting."

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