Holiday Toy Drive

December 8th – December 19th

Last year, we collaborated with Nashoba’s DECA program for a charity group class toy drive. Members and new faces brought in toys throughout the week and the morning of the group calss. Another DECA group collected a lot of books and we delivered the items to Boston Children’s Hospital and the Jimmy Fund clinic a few days before Christmas.

This year we will be collecting children’s toys, children’s books, winter clothing (hats, blankets, gloves, scarves, etc) from Monday, December 10thuntil Wednesday, the 19th.

On the 15th, our Saturday morning 7:30-8:30 group class will be open to non-members for free in exchange for one of the aforementioned items. RSVP is required so I can account for numbers.

The Face Behind the Drive; and my Drive
Photography by Drea Catalano/13 Photography
I was lucky to grow up in Stow on a quiet cul-de-sac filled with kids my age. I spent essentially every day next door at the Teppers or down the street at the Hurleys. If you’re a product of the people you surround yourself with, then I share the successes of the last several years with the kids of Apple Blossom Lane. While it is grossly unfair that Leah is unable to realize her own successes, my “work ethic” stems from an insatiable desire to improve the world as much as Leah improved mine.

Leah was diagnosed with Adrenalcortical Carcinoma in 2010, the Spring of our Junior year of high school. The night before receiving the official diagnosis, we walked around the neighborhood; Leah trying to keep  her mind off the impending results from the doctor, me trying to comprehend the severity of it. My biggest regret is that I never did quite understand the terminal nature of her cancer; and I have absolutely no reason to explain that. If I had, maybe I would have prioritized my time with her even more.

Even after they determined that they had exhausted all options and stopped treatment in October of 2012, that last month of her life we still talked about her goals and what she wanted to be when she grew up. It seems almost cliche when you hear that someone with a terminal diagnosis never wavered in their optimism and smiled through it all, but that was certainly the case with Leah. She passed away on November 1st, 2012, a day where the Catholic Church recognizes all of the saints, known and unknown, in heaven; a fitting ceremony for the impression Leah left on a lot of people.

One thing that was important to her was bringing happiness to other patients. With your help, I would like to help her and the amazing people at the Jimmy Fund clinic do so.

If you have any questions as to what gifts are appropriate or ideal, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at unifiedhp@gmail.com.