Patients at Lutheran General Hospital are in for oodles of doodles thanks to an 8-year-old lemonade impresario.
Third grader Abby Enck spent much of her summer raising funds in order to purchase coloring supplies for the children at Lutheran General, where her brother receives treatment for Cerebral Palsy. She delivered a stockpile of crayons Sunday.
“The best part was seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces,” Abby said. “I got to take pictures with them and it was really fun.”
Abby, her mom, Becki, and her dad, Tim, made the rounds at the hospital, wheeling their load of supplies in three wheelchairs. Abby was able to make personal deliveries to the patients, asking each child if they’d like crayons, markers or pencils.
“They had the biggest smiles on their faces,” Becki said. “Something as simple as a box of crayons, and you could see that it just brought them so much joy.”
Becki said they received an overwhelming amount of donations, as did Lutheran General, and that alone made the whole thing worth it. In the process, Abby surpassed her goal of purchasing 1000 boxes of crayons with: 1,009 boxes of crayons, 140 boxes of markers and 125 boxes of colored pencils.
“Watching Abby made us realize how much the Child Life Program means, not only to patients, but especially to siblings who sometimes spend many, many hours at a hospital,” she said. “The days can get so long and yet the Child Life Staff are there and are always making sure that each and every child are being taken care of.”
Lutheran General staff said they have never received such a large donation of a single item, and are delighted that they’ll be stocked for a while.
Ever the entrepreneur, Abby now plans to write thank-you notes to each friend and family member that helped her sell her lemonade kits. And although she’s already planning next year’s fund raising venture -- DVDs and popcorn -- she plans on making the most of the summer.
“I’m going to play outside in our pool,” she said. “My brother and I like to play with Build-a-Bears and ride our bikes.”
In total, Abby raised $551 for Lutheran General, and Becki could not be more proud of her extraordinary third-grader.
“I think what Abby has taught everyone is that no matter who you are, young or old, you can make a difference,” she said. “Every little thing makes a difference.”
To help Abby’s cause, call Lutheran General Hospital at 847-723-7747 or send a check to: Lutheran General Hospital Child Life Department, Room 205, Park Ridge, IL 60068
In-person donations can be left at the hospital’s front desk, marked for Child Life.