She gave away her Florida savings to help babies - today the community helps make her dream come true

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Burton (WJRT) (06/12/17) - As she turns the corner, 10-year-old Julianna sees a few familiar faces, the coordinators from the Diaper Drive her school participated in earlier this year.

"What if I were to tell you that because you had such a generous heart that these people came together in the community and they want to send you to Florida for free?" asked ABC12's Angie Hendershot.

Julianna had a priceless reaction, falling down on the floor.

After she recovered from the shock, she received two Allegiant Air plane vouchers and $800 in spending money from ELGA Credit Union, M&M Travel and Tours and Patsy Lou Chevrolet.

"I want to go swimming, find some shells and meet Harry Potter," Julianna said.

The vacation has been a dream of hers for three years now; but, one road-block after another kept preventing Julianna and her mom from being able to afford it.

"We were supposed to go for her 10th birthday," her Mom, Rose, explained. "I made a promise, but then I lost my job in February. So the big tax return that you're supposed to do fun things with it went to catch up on all of our bills."

And then Julianna gave up her trip savings to the Dimes for Diapers drive, after learning she wasn't too different from the babies who would be getting those diapers.

"We had to get things from people like high-chairs and cribs; and then, when I was big enough to grow out of that stuff, she told me she donated it all for babies that didn't have anything," Julianna explained.

"No matter how hard we have it, she tries to make it better and she reaches out to other people and makes their lives better," her Mom added.

Her selfless act of kindness inspired community members to make her wish a reality.

"I hope she takes one single thing and that is to continue to help others, regardless of the situation and hopefully that spreads like a wildfire," Kevin Mullaly with Genesee Connects said.

Elga Credit Union's Cheryl Sclater added, "These are our people who will carry on and make a difference in Genesee County and I think we have a great one in Julianna."

When asked what she learned from all of this, Julianna replied, "Giving is better than receiving."

(06/12/17) - Hearing you're getting a free trip to Disney World and Universal Studios is a lot to handle.

For 10-year-old Julianna it's even more shocking because she had no idea if her dream would ever come true.

We introduced you to this special 4th grader earlier this year.

She's been saving for a trip to Florida for 3 years, but decided to donate her trip fund to Dimes for Diapers instead.

Keith Mulally, a representative from Genesee Connects heard about Julianna's donation to the Diaper Bank, which inspired him to make sure she was rewarded for her good deed.

So Monday, he along with ELGA Credit Union, M&M Travel and Tours and our own Angie Hendershot surprised Julianna with airline tickets and spending money for a trip to Universal Studios.

"I have no words," Julianna said of the surprise. "I want to go swimming, find some shells and meet Harry Potter. And maybe go to Disney World."

Julianna tells us she and her Mom are Harry Potter enthusiasts.

She's been wanting to go to Universal Studio since she was 7-years-old, but something kept coming up, preventing her and her Mom from being able to afford the trip.

Finally, Julianna was told she'd go for her 10th birthday; but, right before then, her Mom lost her job and needed to use their trip fund to pay the bills.

Julianna kept saving, but heard about the Dimes for Diapers campaign her school got involved with and her Mom told her how they received a lot of help when she was a baby, so she decided to donate her trip money to the babies.

The trip was off the table again, until today.

"She so earned it. My baby's not had an easy life, but she's always made the best of it and moved forward," Julianna's Mom, Rose said.

Mullaly added, "Just to see the big smile and just how, you know, she goes about everything in her daily life; I mean, she's a good kid and she deserves something like this."

Julianna is not done giving either. She tells us besides taking her trip to Florida, she'll be spending her summer raising money to buy supplies to help clean up her neighborhood.



 
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