Bringing joy to children around the world, Madison Zelner, seventh grade visual major, collected toys for kids in need.
“After we collect the toys, we ship them to my grandparents who are part of the Aloha Medical Mission in Hawaii,” Zelner said. “They travel to Burma, Asia where doctors perform procedures. There is not enough pain killing medicine, so nurses give the kids toys after to help them get through.”
Zelner collected Beanie Babies and match cars for four years. She went around the neighborhood and spread the word to friends to gather these toys.
“I feel like I am contributing to someone who is less fortunate than I am, and it feels good to donate toys people do not want anymore to people who need it,” Zelner said.
The main purpose of the mission was to help those in other countries who could not afford the medical fees. The focus was on one village, and volunteers stayed for a few weeks at a time.
“This project is very important to me. My young patients are scared and in a lot of pain before, and after the surgery,” Carl Lum, mission leader, said. “For me, giving out the toys and seeing the kid’s reaction of comfort gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
The Aloha Medical Mission has seen over 274,000 patients, and they have visited 22 countries.
“Every time I hand a child a toy, the patient hugs the toy and stops crying,” Lum said. “Seeing this brings tears to my eyes, and I realize that all the medicine in the world cannot replace these toys.”