9-year-old LI boy collects toys for children in need of cheer

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DIX HILLS -

A Dix Hills boy is spreading the holiday spirit this year by giving back to other children.

Most 9-year-olds make lists of the toys they want for Christmas, but Rosario Cascio doesn't want anything for himself. Playing in his basement one day, he realized how lucky he was to have so many toys -- and then he thought about the kids who didn't have any.

That's when the idea for Rosario's Giving Tree was born. All he wants this Christmas is for toys to make it to the hands other children -- especially those who are sick.

When Rosario told his mother Lilliana he wanted to donate toys to children who are in hospitals, she was taken aback.

Lilliana Cascio says her son said to her, "Mom, you know how sad it must be sometimes for kids who are sick in the hospital, and they can't wake up in their own bed in the morning and come down and see gifts from Santa?"

"I stopped because I got the goosebumps," she says, recalling her son's words.

Lilliana Cascio took to Facebook and started spreading the word to donate toys. Their living room is now filled with more than 100 toys donated by family, friends and even strangers.

Rosario says he can't wait to deliver the gifts to the kids at Winthrop Hospital and South Nassau Communities Hospital later this month. He adds that he prays for the children every night.

The Cascios say that if they get even more toys donated, they'd like to add another hospital -- possibly Cohen's Children's Hospital.

If you would like to donate a toy, email the family at Rosariosgivingtree@gmail.com and they will arrange a pick up time and date. And you can also make a donation to the effort at GoFundMe.com.

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