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A note from Emily – On New Year’s Eve 2008 I was just a regular 6 year old girl, excited to be playing with my friends and staying up past my bedtime! That night, I was bitten on my arm by a sweet dog who was scared by the loud noises of someone celebrating the New Year in another yard.  The next thing I knew I was sitting in the hospital & very scared.

I had to have surgery on my arm the next day, but Dr. Champagne, my surgeon, told me he would make it all better – and that when we was done my arm would be really strong! While I was there, I met Ashley. She was my Child Life Specialist. She was so nice and helped me understand what my surgery would be like and helped me to not be so scared. I remember her curly hair, she was so pretty! We have kept in touch, I am thankful for that.

It was a long recovery, but when I was better, my Mom and I went back to the two hospitals I was in to say thank you and give new toys to them for the kids that were still there. It was so much fun and I felt really happy to make other kids smile. My Mom had told me that we were so blessed to have wonderful people around us, and that now it was time to focus on other kids, some who might be there even longer that I was.

I loved the new toy that I received; I still have it! It’s a fabric coloring book that I colored on with markers, and I also got a soft green blanket which I named the ‘Ashley blanket’.

I feel so happy to be able to collect so many new toys for kids like me, and lots of people are helping me and my family make it happen. To everyone that volunteers, partners with us, donates and shares good wishes, thank you. This is not just Emily’s Toys 4 Joy, it’s EVERYONE’S Toys 4 Joy!

Emily’s Toys 4 Joy collects donations of new items for boys and girls, such as toys, games, DVD’s, stuffed animals, arts and crafts supplies, gift cards, beauty and personal care items and more.