PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A little girl’s wish has come true this holiday season, but it’s bittersweet. Jillian Massey was just 5 years old when she died of brain cancer, however, her legacy shines during the holidays as a special toy drive is spreading holiday cheer to sick children across the area.
Boxes and boxes of toys are certain to bring smiles to the faces of sick children in local hospitals this holiday season.
The Sassy Massey Toy Drive is in its third year and it’s spearheaded by Janelle Massey, who lost her daughter, Jillian, to brain cancer. The first stop is delivering hundreds of toys to kids at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
“Jillian had a wish three years ago and that was to make sure all of the kids in the hospital had something to smile about and something to play with,” said Massey.
The toy drive started out with a modest goal of 50 to 100 toys, but the generosity of strangers has far exceeded that number by thousands.
“To see everyone continuing to donate their time, their money, their everything to making sure Jillian’s legacy is filled, and even better yet, make sure that kids in the hospital have something to smile about year round, that’s what it’s all about,” said Massey.
While Jillian’s infectious smile fuels this toy drive, her mother is fueled by the kindness of others — keeping Jillian’s legacy alive, one toy at a time.
“Out of something so sad and heartbreaking, there’s so much good and there’s so many things to be thankful for and there’s so many blessings to be found,” said Massey.
The Sassy Massey Toy Drive isn’t just over yet as there are several more stops this week — one at Children’s Hospital where Jillian was treated and other hospitals throughout the area.