Guest column: Toy donations from Twinsburg girl draw smiles during tough times

Column submitted by Jordan Kinford Published:

This is the fourth year of my "Santa's Smiling Elves" campaign, during which a group of elves and I collect toys for area hospitals and The Ronald McDonald House. We could not be more ecstatic with the amazing support from the community. With the generosity of so many businesses and individuals, I was able to exceed last year's collections, which allowed our group to purchase everything we wanted for Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital and The Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.

We even had to hire a delivery service, or as we call it, "Santa's Sleigh," because the toys wouldn't fit in our cars.

The Ronald McDonald House was so very appreciative this year. 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 50 and older families while their children are in the hospital without the worry of hotel or food expenses.

It's a wonderful place to call home during their tough time. For the fourth year, the group also donated to Rainbows Babies and Children's Hospital. This is where Santa's Smiling Elves first donated. The staff and families of patients go through so much and help so much -- it is always great to help them out.

To everyone who donated, thank you. Our group also couldn't have grown this year without the addition of more elves, including Kyle, Kaitlyn, Brianna, Caila, Victoria, Jessica and Josh. With their help mailing letters, shopping, delivering, fundraisers and more, they were very helpful.

Thanks to Chick-fil-A of Macedonia for again holding the fundraiser, which was a great success. Thank you 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. Thank you to Rick of CRW Cartage for donating his time and delivery van -- that was a huge help. A big thank you also goes to the parents of the elves, especially to Linda Gogan: Your help always keeps my Mom from going nuts. Thank you to my parents, who are always there for me.

Finally, thank you to all the wonderful donors and helpers. Next year, I hope to raise more, donate more and most of all make more people smile at a special time of year.

Special to Record Publishing Co.

Jordan Kinford has collected toys for children at local hospitals and The Ronald McDonald House during the Christmas season for four straight years. This year was the largest donation so far.

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