When 22-year-old Taunton resident Mikayla Burbank began noticing dozens of mothers online worrying about the upcoming holidays, her heart ached. As a stay-at-home mother, she knows what that pressure feels like to deliver on Christmas. For the first time, this mother of one decided to make a difference by putting together a toy drive that will make the holidays a little easier for struggling families.

“I’m in a bunch of mom groups online and I kept seeing a ton of either single parents or moms that needed help,” Burbank said. When she became a mother, her stress levels certainly went up, but so did her compassion for others.

“It’s a love that you can’t explain unless you have kids,” she said.

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Burbank has always had a love for children. In high school, she was in a childcare program and worked in daycares. After she had her son Westbrook, she spent her time being supermom alongside her boyfriend. For the first time ever, she decided to donate her spare time this holiday season to help families that need it.

With the help of her brother, Jackson Buckley, and her cousin, Ashley Frates, Burbank has scheduled a holiday gift drive to help get gifts under the Christmas trees of single parents and families in Southeastern Massachusetts.

As soon as she posted her toy drive three days ago, she was blown away by the responses.

“I received well over 50 emails from families that needed help and a bunch of people that wanted to help,” Burbank said. She wasn’t sure what the response would be like, and she is thrilled to already have three local businesses come forward as drop-off locations for toys: Mirror Mirror a Unique Boutique, Paws Above, and Fun Unplugged.

“It feels incredible to give back,” Burbank said. “I cannot wait to see the people’s faces when I drop the gifts off, and I can’t wait to see pictures of them opening their gifts.”

Mikayla Burbank

Burbank hopes to help as many families as possible, starting closest to her city of Taunton and expanding outward.

The giving season is starting early thanks to angels like Mikayla Burbank, who understand the meaning of loving thy neighbor and giving when it’s most needed.

If you would like to contribute to Burbank's mission, email her at mikayla.burbank@yahoo.com.

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