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Mindful "GIFTS" This Holiday Season

15-year-old Maya Pace started the nonprofit after her mother was sent to federal prison
Posted: 3:51 PM, Dec 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-16 15:55:41-05

Goods for Inmates Families to Share is an organization that provides gifts to children whose parents are incarcerated.15-year-old Maya Pace started the nonprofit after her mother was sent to federal prison.

"I didn't get to see her during Christmas and I was sad that I didn't get to see her and the presents. I didn't want other kids to feel the same way I did. So I decided that I should start the organization so other kids could get presents and feel good and welcome on Christmas," said Pace.

"There was a woman who was in the visitation room and her four little kids were running around and Maya said 'Mom are those four kids going to get presents for Christmas?' and I go like 'I don't think so honey, they just don't have the money. You are really lucky that you are loved and blessed with resources and that you're at least going to get a couple presents on Christmas.' So, that weekend when she went home she talked it over with my mom and that was when she started it," said Rashmi Airan, Maya's mother.

Since 2015, Maya has been raising money and donating holiday gifts to children. Over the past four years, she’s provided more than 500 gifts to children during the holidays by partnering with federal halfway houses.

"She has affiliated herself with two federal halfway houses and we get a list of the children whose parents are in those facilities. We take that list, we go to Target or Walmart. She gets to go to the holiday parties for those halfway houses and she hands each child a gift," said Airan.

This is this the first year Maya’s mother can go with her to the mall to buy the gifts and she couldn’t be happier.

"I liked going with my grandma but with my mom it's different. The whole reason I'm doing it is because of her so it makes me happy," said Pace.

To donate you can Venmo @MayaPace or email Maya's mother at rashmiairan@yahoo.com