Amazon, volunteers deliver smiles to children
Harrisburg, Dauphin County -- There are smiles everywhere you look at Caitlin's Smiles and that's because volunteers are usually coloring or creating with clay or all kinds of fun arts and crafts. They're not doing it for themselves, they're doing it for children who are in hospitals because of a chronic or life-threatening illness.
"They always gave me something to do, something to brighten my day," said Catey Stuber.
Stuber is now a volunteer with Caitlin's Smiles, but six years go when she was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 17, a volunteer knocked on her hospital door with one of the goodie bags she is now creating for other children.
"Before cancer I was a volunteer firefighter and I was a certified volunteer EMT and the cancer kind of took that away from me. So, I saw Caitlin's Smiles as a way of giving back in a way that I could," Stuber said.
That's why Stuber says she had to be there earlier this week when Amazon employees from five fulfillment centers in Central Pennsylvania donated 12,000 tubs of play-doh and $10,000 worth of other toys and art supplies.
"The important thing here is we're actually kind of doing what we do best, putting things in boxes and delivering smiles," said Scott Cochran, General Manager of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Carlisle. "So, to actually create the kits that Caitlin's Smiles will go and deliver to kids in hospitals actually means a lot to us."
It also puts a smile on Elsie Stroup's face. She lost her daughter to Cystic Fibrosis years ago and has been with Caitlin's Smiles since it was founded in 2004.
"Back when she was living, because she would be in her 50's, they had no support groups. Nothing except the doctor and nurses. So, when I heard about this organization , it meant so much to me," Stroup said.
You can find more information about the organization here.