Long Beach nonprofit surprises 4-year-old girl battling cancer

The Local Hearts Foundation surprised a 4-year-old girl battling cancer and her family in Long Beach with a bag of toys, a $1,000 check and a Christmas tree.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The Local Hearts Foundation is spreading holiday cheer to those who need a helping hand this year.

"We are blessing the little girl named Sophie," said co-founder of the Local Hearts Foundation Tito Rodriguez. "I got a message through Instagram saying that her family needed some holiday joy because she was just diagnosed with cancer."

The Local Hearts Foundation put a callout over social media to kick off the holiday season.

"We've been posting on social media that if there's anybody that needs some Christmas tree or some kids that need some toys, let me know," Rodriguez said. "The outreach has been crazy."

Sophie, 4, and her parents were surprised with a sack of toys, a $1,000 check and a Christmas tree.

"I'm born and raised here my whole life," Rodriguez said. "So, for me growing up poor here and not having much and not having toys for Christmas and that kind of thing, it really weighed on my heart heavy to come back and do that for kids here that are struggling, families that are struggling."

The Local Hearts Foundation was launched by Rodriguez and HJ Chong over a decade ago. Their mission is to give back to those who need it most across the Greater Los Angeles area.

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"I think the pandemic has made it really, really hard on families to provide something as simple as a tree or toys for their children," Rodriguez said.

Bad Boys Car Club, The Cupcake Factory, Diamond Supply and The Shack helped sponsor the giveaway.
"It's a warm feeling to know that people are out there willing to still want to help and reach out to kids who need it," said Sophie's mother Daniella Guerra.

The Long Beach nonprofit organization is holding its annual Toy Drive on Dec. 19. For more information or to get involved, visit their website.

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