Girl, 11, Organizes New Mattresses for Fire Station - NBC 7 San Diego

Girl, 11, Organizes New Mattresses for Fire Station

The 11-year-old even used her allowance to buy decorative pillows and blankets



    Jessica Carscadden, 11, could be considered a "first responder" for San Diego firefighters. The young girl organized a donation of brand new mattresses for a North County fire station so firefighters could rest comfortably between emergency calls. NBC 7's Steven Luke shares Jessica's inspirational story. (Published Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014)

    A North County fire station received a much needed donation Friday that will help the crew - barring any emergency calls-- get their best night's sleep in months.

    And it's not just the donation itself, but who gave it, that makes it more impjressive.

    You could call 11-year-old Jessica Carscadden the firefighters' first responder.

    Born with a cleft pallet and lip, you'd need two hands to count the number of surgeries she's had. Still, quickly after her adoption, her mother found out this wasn't a little girl who worried about herself.

    "She was fully Jessica when we got her at 5, and I wish we could take some credit for her amazing personality and giving spirit, but that is just Jessica," said her mother Kathleen.

    Jessica runs a nonprofit that donates teddy bears to law enforcement agencies, whose officers pass on the toys to kids on calls.

    About 10,000 stuffed animals later, she's on a roll.

    But during the May firestorm in the North County, she stopped by the Rancho Bernardo Fire Station 33 to deliver dinner as a "thank you," only to realize these firefighters needed something else: mattresses.

    "They've been around for a while, a lot of people sleeping on them," said San Diego Fire-Rescue Capt. Tony Zens.

    He told NBC 7 he'd often wake up from a good night's sleep, only to feel more achy than if he had stayed awake.

    So Jessica took it upon herself to call someone who could help. Jerome's Furniture loved the idea.

    Fast forward several months to Friday, and Station 33 looks like Christmas morning.

    The seven new boxsprings and mattresses -- ranging from pillow tops to memory foam -- were just the start.

    Jessica, who put protective covers over every single bed, used her allowance money to purchase new decorative pillows and blankets.

    "So I wanted to do something because they need their sleep to be in action," she said.

    In the words of the remarkable pre-teen, one little help can make a big change.

    Inspired by the girl's idea, Jerome's Furniture is working with other fire stations in the county to get new mattresses as well.

    To find out more about Jessica's nonprofit, visit her website