When Children Help Children

Natalie Laizure makes wishes come true for medically fragile kids
by: BARB RANDALL Forest Hills Elementary sixth-grader Natalie Laizure transformed a simple class project into a wonderful Christmas gift for the children of the Providence Child Center.

Natalie Laizure is a very creative young lady.

The sixth-grader at Forest Hills Elementary School transformed a simple class project into a wonderful Christmas gift for the children of the Providence Child Center.

'Our teacher asked us to do a report on a community place we know about,' Natalie said. 'Right away I thought about my dad.'

Her dad is Chip Laizure, a member of the center's foundation board, and he has long kept Natalie and her 10-year-old brother Cade well-informed about the center's remarkable work - it is the only center in 12 states that offers full-time care for children who require medical care around the clock.

Dad's message has really hit home with his daughter, and she brought that message to her classmates at Forest Hills.

'I wanted us to think about how lucky we are,' Natalie said. 'Sometimes we say, 'I just got a new game. I'm going to ask for another.' We don't think how we get to go to school and hang out with our friends when these kids are learning how to talk.

'In my speech I told about the 'Make A Wish' book, which shows all of the needs the kids have.'

Jennifer Laizure, Natalie's mother, noted: 'She showed what a difference can be made by answering one child's wish.'

When Natalie asked her classmates to give, they dug deep. They ended up giving $200 to the Providence Child Center Foundation. Some of the generosity was stunning. A friend named Zhou gave $50.

'I told her she didn't have to give that much,' Natalie said. 'But she did.'

'Natalie is a wonderful example,' said DeAnne Coppenger, a staff member of the foundation. 'When children give back to children it means much more than just the monetary value. It plants seeds for the future.

'I think it's just amazing of how she thought of our kids. She also showed how her whole family thinks of our mission for children.'

When Natalie presents the check to the foundation board next week, it will be quite an occasion, because she plans to sing some Christmas songs, including 'Santa Baby.'

'I love singing,' Natalie said.

'She has a very good voice,' admits brother Cade, who often serves as her audience when she breaks out in song in the car.

People should sing the praises of Natalie Laizure. She has made a lot of kids happy, and she has made her family very proud.

'Natalie just cares,' Jennifer Laizure said.

Read more about the Providence Child Center at http://bit.ly/tIv3xM.