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Smith: One kid's birthday shopping

Emma Frey turned 15 and decided to do something special.

She pocketed some of her savings and asked her parents, Nichole and Fred, if they'd give her in cash what they'd normally spend on a party.

And the Santa Rosa High student went shopping.

She bought a bunch of food — makings for PB&J sandwiches, string cheese, carrots, chips, bottled water, a bit of candy and some personal hygiene products.

The good guys at Mike's Truck Garden in Fulton let her talk them into donating a couple crates of pears. K-Mart pitched in some socks.

Emma and her friend Rachel Sincheff packed about 70 hefty lunch-and-goodie bags into a car, then they and their moms drove around Santa Rosa looking for people who might be homeless.

Emma said afterward she couldn't believe how many she found on the city's streets and how grateful they were for a little food and kindness.

Happy birthday, kiddo.

HER VIOLIN is out there, somewhere, and 16-year-old Caroline Leung's trust in humanity has her hoping it will come back to her.

Caroline lives in Santa Rosa and her folks, Karen Leung and Tony Chu, drive her at least weekly to the East Bay for her practices with the Berkeley Youth Orchestra.


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