There are so many disturbing and heart-breaking stories circulating in the news right now, especially concerning children. In addition to taking action in whatever ways feel appropriate to help, it's important to find ways to stay grounded in the goodness of humanity. I recently heard a story that I'd like to pass on to you, with the intention of offering some hope and inspiration.
A seven-year-old girl named Alex has raised thousands of dollars to donate stuffed animals to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. Alex was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was eleven months old. Her mother spent many days at the hospital during the treatment of Alex, who had as many as 100 seizures a day. Dr. Aja Gupta, the head of pediatric epilepsy at the Cleveland Clinic, says this illness disproportionately impacts children.
Throughout her battle with epilepsy, Alex created Alex’s Fluffy Buddies—a project to raise money to purchase stuffed animals for children in need of comfort. Alex’s own teddy, Sky Bear, has been by her side as long as she can remember and helped get her through numerous hospital treatments. When Alex noticed some of the other children didn’t have similar companions, she donated hundreds of stuffed animals. Recently, Alex was named a “GoFundMe Kid Hero.”
The mother of another patient said, “A little bit of fresh air, a breath of kindness, a little bit of a distraction makes a world of difference.” Alex raised more than $20,000 online. She said, “I was in the hospital and I saw some kids who had no stuffed animals and I wanted to give some of mine, but my mom said, no they need to be new.” Alex then said, “So I saved my Chucky Cheese money and bought bears.”
Alex hopes to one day have more than 100,000 bears. Her mother said they are working to achieve that, and to turn Alex’s Fluffy Buddies into a non-profit organization. To find out more, you can check out this page.
Even though a great deal of money is involved, what is most significant to me is how two people can make such a huge impact on others. Dear reader, how does this story affect you? Have you had such experiences—whether the instigator of such compassion or the recipient of such benevolence? All comments are most welcome!