Panama City Beach 5th grader donates over $1,000 worth of presents to Salvage Santa

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Hutchison Beach Elementary 5th grader Lyra Floore was in first grade when she learned something that broke her heart. 

“My mom told me that not all kids get Christmas presents and that made me really sad,” she said. “I wanted to do something.”

She started making home-made Christmas ornaments and selling them for a dollar each; soon, those dollars started adding up. 

“Right now I’ve earned one thousand fifty dollars,” said Floore.

Like most kids would, she spent every penny of that money on toys.

Unlike most kids, she didn’t buy them for herself, but instead to donate to Salvage Santa.

“Salvage Santa’s a program I started 40 years ago,” said Bay District Schools Chief of Security, Mike Jones. He fixes and collects toys to give to needy children every Christmas. 

Lyra is donating all of the toys she purchased to Salvage Santa for the second year in a row.

She’s been raising money every year for different drives since the first grade, however, in the last two years she’s raised over one thousand dollars each year for Salvage Santa. 

This year, she also had kids bring presents to her birthday party just to donate to Salvage Santa, instead of for her.

“When they told me, they said ‘Lyra’s at it again,’ I said ‘alright! I like it,’” said Jones. “It means a lot to me to have the kids involved.”

“I’m just proud of her,” said Lyra’s mother, Crystal. “She does everything she can to do the right thing.”

Jones said one day, there may be a new Santa in town. 

“Well Lyra’s probably going to take over Salvage Santa one day, she just doesn’t know it yet,” said Jones. 

Lyra said at the end of the day, it’s a good deed she has fun doing.

“It makes me feel good,” she said. 

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