50 good deeds: Two Leawood girls make a difference in many lives - KCTV5

50 good deeds: Two Leawood girls make a difference in many lives

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Ava Levitan and Maggie McCarthy learned 50 good deeds made the difference in a lot of lives. (Submitted) Ava Levitan and Maggie McCarthy learned 50 good deeds made the difference in a lot of lives. (Submitted)
LEAWOOD, KS (KCTV) -

How did your kids spend their summer? At the pool? Hanging out with friends? At camp?

Two Leawood girls did that and more. The 9-year-olds learned 50 good deeds made the difference in a lot of lives.

"We also helped to water the garden at our school, and we also helped a teacher get ready for the school year by packaging stuff,” 

Ava Levitan and Maggie McCarthy were playing this summer, pretending to be police officers when they got an idea.

"We ended up thinking, ‘That's what police officers do. Police officers do good deeds. We can do the same," Maggie said.

And so, they set out on a mission to do 50 good deeds before the end of summer.

They pulled weeds in neighbors' yards, made treats for shelter dogs and handed out pennies on the Country Club Plaza for people to make a wish in the fountain.

All nice gestures, but they wanted to do something more. So, the girls' mothers reached out to Leawood police asking for ideas, and those officers came through.

The girls put pen to paper and sent letters to the families of fallen officers killed in the line of duty.

"It gave a purpose to our summer," said Kimberly Levitan, Ava's mother.

It wasn't long after they sent the first few out that they started getting letters back.

"This one is from Deanna Rose's parents. ‘Dear Ava, thank you so much for your sweet letter … from the time Deanna was about your age, she had dreams of becoming a police officer,” Kimberly read.

They learned first-hand how their act of kindness helped someone else.

"Your letter brought peace and smiles from us again so much thanks again so much,” one letter stated.

Writing those letters only took a few minutes each but made a lasting impression on everyone.

"It broke my heart all the time about all the sacrifices they did and then to give that ultimate sacrifice … what their families went through. It was hard to read, and it's even hard to talk about now," said Amy McCarthy, Maggie's  mother.

Kimberly Levitan agrees.

"I guess just knowing how quickly life can be taken. It makes you look at officers differently when you see them out in the community and realize every day they're sacrificing their lives,” she said.

Ava and Maggie realized a lot too about how one small gesture can help so much.

"It made me feel really good,”

One family sent pictures and a letter back so the girls could get to know the family a little better.

"Your willingness to bear our burdens and show your concern will never be forgotten. James was our little boy who we miss dearly,” one family wrote who was touched by their kindness.

The girls brought, even more, letters to Leawood police. Some will be hand-delivered to the families of their fallen brothers, others will be mailed. But all of them will make a difference to both the families and the girls.

It was a life lesson that perhaps was best learned outside of school.

"Next year we might do 100!

Maybe we'll start from 50 and try to do another 50 to make it 100,”

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