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Fifth-grader pulls off sweet surprise to show gratitude for US troops

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Like most kids, Emmi Wells loves candy, but the 10 year old has actually been collecting mounds of it since Halloween. That’s when she started handing out notes to neighbors and friends in Henrico County – with a specific request.

“If they had extra Halloween candy I was going to take it to the USO and donate it to them,” she said.

Now she has heaps of candy for the troops coming home or leaving for the holidays, an act of kindness she says to pay it forward to those who sacrifice so much.

"This is my way of saying thank you to the veterans and everything, because I had family members in the army and everything,” she said. “I just want to say thank you to them and this is my way of doing it."

Last Halloween Emmi collected 70 pounds to give to the troops, but this year she wanted to go bigger.

"My goal was 200 lbs. but we got 254 - that was like amazing,” Emmi said.

"We did something at mom's work- at school- my swim team helped me get some candy and we did a box at the dentist office and they gave me quite a lot of candy!"

And with the help of her Girl  ScoutTroop, Emmi quickly exceeded her goal. But random acts of kindness are nothing new for this fifth-grader.

Emmi was recently selected for the Martin Luther King Light of Hope award at Holladay Elementary school for her all her volunteer work in the community; including at hospitality houses, the pals program, the Christmas mother and Special Olympics, to name just a few organizations that have been on the receiving end of her generosity.

But for this bright-eyed girl, it’s all simply fun.

"It feels good when people are happy because you do stuff for them,” she said.