Local teenager uses one wish to feed the hungry

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Truck after truck backed in piles of food to the Twin Falls City Park Saturday afternoon. One by one people walked up with bags of food to add to the stack.

People and businesses donated 13,148 pounds of food, with more coming in as of Monday afternoon, according to the South Central Community Action Partnership. All of that food will go to local food pantries. This was Emma Allred's wish.

"I can't believe this is happening, this is amazing," Emma said.

Emma was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 10. Now 13, Emma has undergone surgery three times for the disease with a fourth one coming up this fall.

When she was told she was going to be given a wish from Idaho's Make A Wish Foundation, her answer was unexpected to many.

"My wish is to feed the homeless," Emma said.

Emma had options to have something, go somewhere, be something or meet someone, but she decided not to do any of those.

"Of all the things, despite her siblings trying to get her to do other things, she chose to help the homeless," said Nina Allred, Emma's mother.

The wish to give back is not unheard of, but pretty uncommon. Representatives of Idaho's Make A Wish Foundation speculate that about one in 100 people will use their wish that way.

"It's incredibly unique and we are so thrilled that somebody is as kind and generous as Emma to want to give to others instead of have the wish granted for herself," said Brenda Vogt, the director of program services for Idaho's Make A Wish.

Emma did say she had some difficulty deciding what to use her wish for at first, but then she asked for help.

"My siblings gave ideas, my parents gave ideas, I just couldn't think of anything," she said. "I asked the lord in prayer and he did. Basically, he told me to feed the homeless."

So as donation after donation rolled into the City Park, Emma became more and more excited. The people at the park became more and more impressed with her, too.

"She's so selfless and really really was dedicated to giving back to her community," said Sarah Shinn, the president and CEO of Make A Wish Idaho.

And because of her selflessness she attracted donors. Donors like the local Albertson's, who surprised her with literally a truck bed full of food.

"There wasn't even a question in our mind to be able to support Emma," said Trevert Mccuaig an Albertson's representative. "Special kid for sure."

The food Emma raised will be donated to Safe Harbor, Community Action and The Magic Valley Bible Church. Emma and her family hope the donations will fill their food pantries.

To some members of Emma's family, though unexpected, her wish makes sense.

"She's always wanted to help others," Nina Allred said.

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