Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Illinois girl with a big heart honored for kindness to first responders

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COLLINSVILLE, IL (KTVI) - You may remember last year, when Fox 2 News brought you the story of eight-year-old Arianna Nichols, an Illinois girl who makes crosses and sends them to first responders around the country. This year, a local firefighter nominated her for our Pay It Forward award.

Arianna began making plastic beaded crosses in September. With the help of her mother, who irons the plastic beads to mold them together, she has sent nearly 8,000 crosses to police and fire departments in 43 states and even Australia.

The Collinsville assistant fire chief was so touched by Arianna’s kindness he wanted to show the appreciation from thousands of responders who carry her handmade crosses. He paid a surprise visit to her home in Madison County to present her with the award and a $500 gift card.