Note of Thanks: Local 'elves' bring smiles to children

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This is the third year of

my Santa's Smiling Elves campaign, and I am so happy with the amazing outcome. With the generosity of so many businesses and individuals, I was able to exceed my goal of doubling last year's collections, which allowed me and the fellow elves to purchase everything we wanted for Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital and The Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.

This year my mom and I were also able to volunteer at the holiday workshop at the hospital. It was so amazing to hear the words of appreciation and see the sadness move to smiles as families picked out gifts for their sick children. This was also the first year I've donated to The Ronald McDonald House and they were very appreciative. For those of you who don't know about this special "house," it is a non-profit facility that provides a safe and comfortable living environment for more than 30 families while their children are in the hospital -- without the worry of hotel and food expense. It's a wonderful place to call home during a tough time and they hope to soon be able to house more than 50 families.

To everyone who donated, I thank you so very much; I couldn't have done this without you. I also couldn't have grown this year without the addition of elves: Kyle, Kaitlyn, Summer, Sydney, Brianna, Mary and David. Your help mailing letters, shopping and delivering was invaluable.

To Chick-fil-A of Macedonia, thank you for your offer to host the fundraiser evening, which was a great success. Thanks to my mom's employer, Davco Fastener Co., for supporting me every year and allowing me to use the facility to store all the purchases until delivery day. To the parents of all the elves, your help kept my parents from going crazy. Lastly, I thanks my parents who are always there for me.

Jordan Kinford, Twinsburg

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