Clarksville teen collect toys for kids in hospital - WSMV News 4

Clarksville teen uses birthday to collect toys for kids in hospital

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While most teens dream of a new cell phone or maybe a new car on their 16th birthday, that's not the case for one Clarksville teen.

To say Billie Jo Moore is wise beyond her years would be an understatement.

"I didn't want people to spend money on me. If they were going to spend money, I'd rather they spend it on other people, those in the hospital," Moore said.

So, instead of party invites, Moore passed around a flyer asking for toy donations for sick children.

"A lot of friends didn't think it was very surprising," Moore said.

But for mom and dad, the gesture took a little convincing.

"At first I thought it was a phase. I thought, as it got closer to her birthday, she would change her mind. But she didn't and ran with it and went full speed ahead," said mother Kim Coats.

The entire family and her friends spread the word around town, from Austin Peay State University to churches and even the police department.

"I got to see people around me and how their faces lit up, and it made me happy," Moore said.

When Moore and her friends came through the doors at Gateway Medical Center, the doctors and nurses weren't expecting so many gifts.

"Oh, there was a lot of stuff. It was very impressive," said Linda Hardison, director of pediatrics at Gateway. "It renews your faith in humankind."

And it's a sweet 16 many will not soon forget.

"I felt like I was making a change and making a change in our community," Moore said.

If you know someone in our community who is Paying It 4WARD and should be recognized for their efforts, nominate them by visiting:

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