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Sassy Massey Toy Drive for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Recognized with AFP’s Special Project Award

Allentown, Pa., November 1, 2017—Sassy Massey Toy Drive for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, nominated by the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, was honored with the Special Project of the Year Award at today’s Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP- Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter) annual National Philanthropy Day awards breakfast.

The toy drive was inspired by Jillian “Sassy Massey” Massey, of Coopersburg, Pa., who was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer (medulloblastoma) in April 2016 at just 4 years old.  In May 2017, an MRI revealed the devastating news that her cancer had spread to a different part of her brain, and the only available options would buy minimal time yet compromise her being able to live outside the hospital walls.  Together, Jillian and her mother, Janelle, fight to raise awareness of childhood cancers and raise support for continued research of this terrible disease.

The 2016 Sassy Massey Toy Drive for children at CHOP resulted in a collection of more than 3,000 toys and $2,000 in gift cards donated by companies, families, and individuals moved by Jillian’s story.  A fleet of transport trucks with police escorts shutting down I-95 made the trip to Philadelphia to deliver the toys to the most deserving children of all.  One special little elf had the opportunity to hand-deliver gifts to her friends!  In total, Jillian has raised more than $42,000 for childhood cancer research at CHOP since last summer, all while seeking treatments for her own diagnosis.

Jillian's mother Janelle and father Jim took to the stage to accept the award. Janelle spoke courageously about Jillian and the project before the crowd of about 380 people who were riveted by the story. She thanked the people involved with a special recognition to her co-worker at Ryan Homes, Dan Emerson, who helped spearhead the idea.

Check out Jillian’s Facebook page Jillian Paige-You got this girl and the website: See the Morning Call article on Sassy Massey:
A wish list in honor of a girl with cancer exceeds all expectations as toys come flooding in, that was published in 2016.

See more photos from the event at the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation's Flickr page:

The Community Foundation Celebrates National Philanthropy Day with AFP’s Annual Awards Program