Kayla Kies holds some of the 30 Tootsies gift certificates she collected for area first responders on Tuesday.

After seeing the destruction brought on by the fire last week, and the many emergency personnel working so hard for so long to fight the fire, one Vinton girl wanted to do something to thank those that fought the fire downtown.

Layla Kies, 8, has started collecting gift cards and gift certificates, hoping to soon have enough gift cards to thank each of the firemen who lent a hand this past week.  She would like to collect cards worth $20 to $50 each, but is accepting cards of any value.

Layla suggested that cards for  “eating places, massages, Menards, Wal-mart” might be appreciated. Her mom Lora says, “We will include a card with all of the donors’ names unless they request to be kept anonymous.”

On Tuesday, Layla and her family visited Tootsies Ice Cream and More, where manager Michelle Seibert gave Layla 30 $5 gift certificates to pass along to area first responders. Layla will be accepting donations through the end of February, and is compiling a list of public safety organizations to thank.

Tuesday’s donation brings Layla’s total to nearly 50.

The effort started, says Lora, when her daughter said she wanted to donate her own money to thank the firefighters. Her mom suggested that maybe others would like to donate, and the gift card drive began.

If you would like to donate in this way, send gift cards to:

Layla Kies
409 W 13th St
Vinton IA 52349