Abbey Finn, a student at Cleveland Middle School, held a wildly successful toy drive in her school and community this holiday season! After seeing her mother, Sonya Finn, head up a food drive at Thanksgiving, she had the idea to plan a toy drive. She wanted to give Christmas to kids who may not be able to have it this year. With her mother’s help, she discovered that she would be able to help at Alliance. It is not uncommon for our patients to face the fear that they may not be able to give their children much, if anything at all, during the holidays. Driven by inspiration from her mother’s good example and a passion to help, Abbey set to work.
Cleveland Middle had assigned a community service project to the students. Abbey couldn’t wait to present her idea! But it was passed up by several teachers, as they were focusing their projects around environmental issues. Determined to collect toys for Alliance patients’ children, Abbey continued her search for a teacher liaison. Finally, she connected with Mrs. Gross, sixth grade science teacher. She was on board! Abbey and her two friends, Hannah and Alexis, planned and presented their project with Mrs. Gross’ support to principal, Mr. Byrd. Once approved, they made posters and signs to put up in their school, spread the word through their friends and classmates, and went door to door in their neighborhood to recruit participants.
After all their hard work, Abbey stopped by Alliance a week before Christmas with a truck load full of toys, clothes and candy! She even collected a few special toys, including a brand new IPod! Filled with excitement, she shared her story with Alliance staff members as she toured the facility. Joi, Director of Pastoral Care and Counseling, shared with Abbey and Sonya that their work would be helping the grandchildren of a gentleman who visits Alliance for his primary care. Recently suffering some financial setbacks, the man had shared that he would not be able to give anything to his grandkids this year at Christmastime. Thanks to Abbey, her teachers, friends and community, this man is one of many patients who will be able to show their love to the children in their family and see the smiles on their faces Christmas morning! Great work, Abbey. You are so very appreciated!