Joey Stowell Youth Award Winner

By Anna Yee

June 7, 2011 Updated Jun 7, 2011 at 9:42 PM CDT

We'd like to thank everyone who gave during the Children's Miracle Network telethon that aired on WEEK on Sunday.

This year's event raised more than $2.5 million dollars.

Several people were recognized at the telethon for their effort to help local kids in need.

The winner of the Children's Hospital of Illinois' Joey Stowell Youth Award is Brooke Rennick, a small-town girl with a big heart.

"Helping people turns out good," said Brooke.

It's a simple message 11-year-old Brooke Rennick lives by.

Last winter, she put those words into action by starting a coat drive in her hometown of Toulon.

"She had the idea that she wanted kids to have coats," said Bob Rennick, Brooke's father. "I mean, she's always been that way. I can remember a time in Chicago buying donuts at Dunkin' Donuts so that she could give a donut to a homeless person that didn't have any food, so she's always had a real big heart that way."

Her big heart has lead to collecting more than 200 winter items that she donated to the Peoria Salvation Army's Coats for Kids program.

Her selflessness even inspired the kindergarten class at her school to get involved.

"To think that she could have an impact on other kids where they can see that this is something you should do," said Bob, "and you can get a lot out it that has nothing to do with money or anything like that- just personal satisfaction. That means a lot as a father."

But the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Brooke says she learns a lot from her father. His advice...

"Tells me every day to be good at school and help someone, pretty much," laughed Brooke.

Brooke hopes to expand the drive next year, collecting even more winter items from beyond her small town- an idea that puts a smile on her face.

"...because I know that I helped someone be warm for the winter."