Since the age of 8, one girl has created ‘smile’ packages for those who needed it most

October 23, 2017 1:35 pm Last Updated: October 23, 2017 1:35 pm

Emersyn Harris is not your ordinary teenager.

She spends all of her spare time bringing happiness to others—with charity and volunteer work at her local food pantry, the humane society, and nursing homes. Her social media accounts have thousands of supporters.

She’s also the only teen to be nationally recognized with a USA Unites award for her humanitarian work, and she was even given a day in her honor by the mayor of her hometown of Alexandria, Minnesota.

And it all started with the touching story of a child with cancer.

When Emersyn saw a boy with cancer ask for a million get-well cards on Ellen DeGeneres’ Facebook page at the age of eight, she knew she could help. She started hand-making her own colorful cards, and soon it turned into Cards for Kids, her very own charity.

Emersyn herself had to endure a number of surgeries at a children’s hospital when she was younger. One day, when she was 10 years old, she got an unexpected gift.

“I remember the nurse giving me a pair of light blue fuzzy socks,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

“The nurse came in and said to me that I could actually take those socks home! Well, I thought that was so nice and it made me so happy … wouldn’t it be nice to give children silly socks because they’re so colorful and have nice patterns and characters on them?”

Soon, Emersyn started visiting hospitals herself, bringing a variety of gifts to brighten people’s days.

And before she knew it, doing good deeds came as regularly for Emersyn as morning came each day.

“I know in my heart that when they received it they were smiling and they just forgot about everything,” Emersyn told KSTP in an interview.

Bonnie Chan, an eight-year breast cancer patient at the hospital, was a recipient of one of Emersyn’s visits.

“For her at 12 years old to be doing this is just mind-boggling,” said an appreciative and impressed Chan. “She’s a pretty remarkable young little girl.”

Soon people began sending Emersyn donations of those colorful socks, as well as fun toys, toothbrushes, and other cute gifts.

These came from people who were touched by her single-minded, nonstop compassion. But they weren’t recipients of her kindness—at least not most of them. Rather, they were people who had read or heard about what she was doing and wanted to just say thank you and try to help.

Emersyn then repackaged the gifts into “smile” packages and sent them to sick children she learned about on the internet.

“Children with illnesses, mostly cancer, or that are going through hard times,” she said.

She also mailed these “smile” packages to hospitals, schools, and nursing homes around the country.

“The satisfaction I get out of it is seeing the children smile,” said Emersyn.

“I like knowing that I’ve made a difference. Just for that single moment, I’ve made them forget all the pain and all of what they’re going through.”

Emerson’s mom, who has been right alongside her the entire time since she started this endeavor, is quite sure this is not just a passing fancy for her little girl. She is her biggest fan and supporter.

“I will never stop helping her with her cause, because this is what gives her joy,” Denise said.

Now in her late teens, Emersyn is still working just as hard to make the world a better place, and she has invited the public to let her know of a child who is sick and could use a smile. She requests that people message her through her Facebook page or email her at

Watch the video below:


Source: On the Road: Alexandria, Minn., Girl Trying to Bring Smiles by KSTP on YouTube. Emersyn Sending out “Smiles” from a voice of Alexandria.