Thursday, December 8, 2022
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LivingA Mississippi Mills Valentine for CHEO

A Mississippi Mills Valentine for CHEO

Lily's Valentine's Delivery
The big brown CHEO teddy bear was on hand to welcome Lily’s gifts.

On Remembrance Day, four-year old Lily whispered in her mother’s ear at bedtime, “I want to give bears to the kids at CHEO on Valentine’s Day to help them feel better.”

Somehow, the child’s understanding of sickness and death, enhanced through a school’s solemn service and paired with her Sunday School experience raising funds for CHEO, resulted in this beautiful desire to act.

Then came the research. As all stuffed toys gifted to the hospital had to be new, a source of bears had to be found. The owner of Patrice’s Independent Grocer said “We’ll see what we can do,” and the ‘toy’ manager patiently set aside bag after bag of Valentine-themed bears, dogs, monkeys — a zoo. Customer Service stood by to help with the exchange.

Starting with her birthday money, Lily collected enough in her owl wallet to see her project through, thanks to generous friends, family members, the heartfelt response of the Cedar Hill United Church congregation, and Patrice’s reducing the cost of the menagerie.

So on Valentine’s Day there were 137 more stuffed critters to cheer the children at CHEO through the CHEO Foundation, thanks to the generosity of Mississippi Mills, and a little girl’s night time whisper. We just have to keep listening.

Holly Apostoliuk

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