The second annual Sadie Smile toy drive is scheduled to begin Saturday.
The event is named in honor of Sadie Davis, a 17-month-old who died from an acute form of leukemia in 2012.
Her mother, Amber Davis, said Sadie was diagnosed with the disease in November 2012, and the family spent much of the following month in Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital. Amber Davis said she and her husband would spend time with Sadie in the hospital playroom on the occasions Sadie felt well enough.
“If she felt well enough to go to the playroom, we would take her there,” she said. “The playrooms were very nice, but I noticed that there was a need for some fresh toys.”
Following Sadie’s death Dec. 21, 2012, Amber Davis said she and her husband cleared out Sadie’s bedroom and her mother delivered her old toys to Vanderbilt. It then occurred to her she could organize others she knew to donate toys, as well.
“It’s a way that I have tried to heal,” Amber Davis said. “Obviously she’s not coming back, but I try to make good out of this terrible tragedy.”
Anyone wishing to donate toys or other items, such as arts and craft supplies or iTunes and Google Play store gift cards for older children, can go to any of several drop-off locations. The drive continues through June 8.
In Lebanon, donations will be received at StoneBridge subdivision and the Journey Church. In Mt. Juliet, donations can be made at Providence Landing subdivision, in the rear of Providence MarketPlace; Mt. Juliet Early Learning Center; and the Mail and Package Center.
“We want to give these kids who are sick to have a reason to smile,” Amber Davis said.
The toy drive will benefit several area children’s hospitals, as well as the Department of Children’s Services in Wilson County.
For donation times and additional information, visit shineonsadie.com.