FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – ‘Tis the season for giving back and even the pandemic won’t stop a North Texas teen from making a special donation to Cook Children’s Medical Center.

Mia Donato, 16, lives for gymnastics.

She’s been attending school online since seventh grade so she can spend more time training. But even after excelling in competitions, Mia was scared of backwards tumbling and anxious before performances.

“I dealt with this fear for two years and just couldn’t get past it,” she said. “Someone told me that journaling would really help me, so I started to journal.”

Mia says the practice has changed her life.

“Knowing that this has helped me and so many other girls I’ve been around, I knew this could help other kids in the hospital too, especially going through something that’s even worse than what I’ve been going through,” Mia said.

So for the past few months, Mia has been collecting journals.

Journal donations to Cook Children’s Medical Center (Credit: Mia Donato)

“2020 has really been a hard year for so many people, and it’s been hard for me too,” she said. “I feel anxiety all the time. Anxiety doesn’t just go away through writing, but being able to write it down helps you get it out of your system.”

She put up donation boxes for notebooks and journals at the gyms where she trains and at a doctor’s office.

Mia has been amazed by how many people have journals for patients at Cook Children’s Medical Center.

“My biggest hope is that these kids are able to utilize these journals the best way possible, and see the great benefits that I’ve seen in journaling,” she said.

Mia has collected hundreds and hundreds of journals.

She plans to drop them all off at Cook Children’s Hospital tomorrow morning.

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Caroline Vandergriff