'Dalayna's Birthday Blessings' continues to grow
RUSHVILLE, Il. —
It started three years ago as a simple gesture of kindness. A way to make those smile after spending so much time in the hospital.
"Dalayna's been hard to buy for because she's really never cared for toys much so everybody has a hard time buying her birthday gifts and Christmas," said Kristi Lung, Dalayna’s mother.
That's when Dalayna and her family decided they would donate any presents she received for her birthday to St. Louis Children's Hospital.
"We decided to give back to St. Louis Children's Hospital because they've done so much for us over the years," Lung said.
Dalayna was born with cerebral palsy and has spent a lot of her childhood in and out of the hospital.
"You know it's her home away from home and around the holidays when the kids are in the hospital...parents aren't really thinking oh what am I going to get my kid for Christmas," said Taylor Lung, Dalayna’s sister.
Now three years later Brown and Schuyler Counties are participating in the toy drive.
"Her cause means a lot to me so just being able to donate back and give back around the holiday season was something really important and special to me," expressed Whitley Cooper, Dalayna’s cousin.
The Rushville-Industry high school men's basketball team allowed free admission to the game Tuesday night to everyone who donated a toy for Dalayna's cause. Even the opposing team donated a bag.
"I think it's a wonderful cause and a great idea with the school getting involved and then I heard about it so being a part of the county, I felt the need to get involved with it," said Schyler Brush, Dalayna’s cousin.
Dalayna's family hopes the toy drive continues to grow and will continue to collect toys until December 21.
The toys will be distributed to St. Louis Children's Hospital on December 22--just in time for Christmas.