A Ray of Sunshine

Sunny Seats

By Stacy Case

Ayel Morgenstern is determined, motivated and most of all, she is compassionate. At only 7-years-old, the Parkland resident has taken part in numerous acts of kindness over the past several years, and has now bestowed her passion for spreading love and cheer to those affected by the horrific gun shooting tragedy that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this past Valentine’s Day.

She is in the midst of her latest initiative….Sunny Seats, and nothing seems to be able to break her stride! The Sunny Seats are wooden, child-sized chairs that she paints yellow with some sun rays, to signify the sunshine and brightness that she wants to spread throughout the community during this trying time, and she then hand paints 17 red hearts to honor those lost that day at the high school.

Ayel’s mission is for all schools in Broward County to one day soon have one of her seats so that nobody ever forgets those 17 victims. She is currently making her first 17 Sunny Seats for Douglas High School to have in order to help memorialize those who were killed on the school’s campus that day.

“She’s just unstoppable and will get it done,” says Lauren Morgenstern, Ayel’s mother, about her first grade daughter. “Ayel is just a typical 7-year-old girl who likes to play with her friends and have fun, but also when she sees that there’s some kind of current tragedy, she just steps right in, and does what she can to make the world know that love and kindness do still exist out there.”

Other acts of altruism that Ayel has participated in have been the kindness rocks movement where she painted inspirational, positive messages on rocks and placed them throughout the community. She has also handcrafted greeting cards, sports bands, customized bookmarks, baseball caps and shoes, and other items that she sends to people around the country when a crisis strikes.

She says, “If you wear love and kindness, you spread love and kindness.” Each item is special-made by Ayel.

“Ayel just wants to make a positive difference in this world and will continue to spread her kindness through her

projects,” adds Lauren. From severe illnesses such as those going through cancer treatments to those recovering from acts of vandalism, bullying and weather-related disasters, her heart of gold is making its way around the country.

“She is an old soul,” adds Lauren. “She enjoys the fact that her projects can help put a smile on peoples’ faces when they’re sad about something, and although she is younger than us, WE look up to HER.”

For those interested in offering a financial contribution toward supplies for Ayel’s Sunny Seats, visit gofundme.com for more info.