Top photo, front row, from left, Kelly, Katelin and Zachary Kelley. Second row, from left, Declan Gill and Celina. Back row, from left, Bouchard, Elena Clifford, Redford and Kylie Redford
From left, Peter Greenspan, MD, vice chair and medical director of Pediatrics, Lyla Dussault, Joshua and Lily Haspe
THE YOUNGEST of philanthropists recently demonstrated their support for pediatric patients at MassGeneral Hospital Children (MGHC). On June 9, a group of students from Highland Elementary School in Braintree paid a visit to the MGHfC playroom on Ellison 18 to deliver 75 decorated gift bags to hospitalized patients. Three students -- Kelly and Katelin Redford, ages 8 and 11, and Celina Morin, 12 -- came up with the idea to gather donations for the patients.
"My sister Katelin, her friend Celina and I wanted to do something for my mom's hospital," said Kelly, daughter of Laurie Redford, RN, of MGH Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology. "So we had a meeting with our school principal, Ms. Matthews."
That meeting laid the foundation for plans that would include the entire the school. In response to a letter sent out to parents requesting donations of children's toys, books, and arts and crafts, contributions quickly came pouring in.
"I was so touched by the children wanting to do something for the pediatric patients," said Redford. "The principal, Elizabeth Matthews, and the school nurse, Carol Anderson, contacted MGHfC Child Life Specialist Anne Bouchard, who offered recommendations for age-appropriate items for the patients. For a month, the school collected donations. The students even named the project, 'Hope from Highlands.'"
In another act of generosity, 4-year-old Joshua Levine -- son of Wilton Levine, MD, clinical director of the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine -- presented a check to MGHfC on behalf of his preschool, the Bernice B. Godine JCC Early Learning Center in Newton, on June 25. The funds were raised through donations collected by the children and their parents in honor of the Jewish tradition of "tzedakah," the performance of charitable and philanthropic acts.
At the end of the school year, when Joshua's teachers asked the class where they should donate the funds, "Joshua immediately and passionately suggested that the tzedakah should be donated to help sick children get healthy quickly," said Levine. "What a privilege for a father to hear his son, at the age of only 4, think of this entirely on his own and then to deliver the gift in person."