Brette Dawley doesn't recall the time she spent at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
She wants to give the children currently there a Christmas to remember.
Brette, 8, enlisted her big sister Layne, 10, to help with a special project.
Together, the Dawley sisters, students at Clermont Elementary School, are spearheading Brette and Layne Dawley's Holiday Drive which is collecting toys and other items for children at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.
While less than a year old, Brette suffered a severe case of acid reflux which caused respiratory problems and made eating uncomfortable for over year.
She received care at Nemours/duPont and was hospitalized there three different times for a total of 24 days.
A month ago, Brette began thinking of ways she could help kids in a similar situation. "I got the idea because I feel really bad for the people in the hospital," she said.
"She wanted to give money but she didn't have a lot of money so were were trying to think of other ways we could help," Brette's mother Emily said. "They were very good to us. They helped her a lot."
Layne was eager help her sister. "She kind of brought it up to all of us and I wanted to help, too, because I thought it was something nice to do," said Layne.
The holiday drive is the most recent example of the Dawley sisters' kindness campaign. "We've been trying to do a nice thing every month," Layne said. "I thought that was a good idea so I wanted to help."
Brette and Layne have packed food boxes for Feed the Starving Children and made brownies for firefighters and snacks for people at the library. "Not every is as fortunate as you are," Layne said. "Some people spend their whole childhood in the hospital. It makes me happy to know they'll have something special for Christmas."
Donations may be given to any member of the Dawley family (Brette, Layne, and parents Emily and Tommy). Email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to make a donation or if you have any questions. Donations are due by December 7.
Items must be: New and in original packaging with tags. New toys. (The hospital cannot accept used toys.) Un-wrapped toys.
Most needed items: Items for infants (rattles, teethers, binkies, toys), LEGO sets, coloring books, adult coloring books, markers, and colored pencils, Playdoh sets with tools, crafts kits, decks of Uno, board games, playing cards, small Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth headphones, Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars, gift cards in amount of $25 (Amazon, Target, Walmart, Visa).
Also needed: stuffed animals, plastic baby dolls and Barbies, teen blankets, books, sketch pads, Little People Friends, sports items, teen "spa" items such as nail polish, pedicure kits, and toiletries, musical instruments (Melissa and Doug brand preferred).