Today, after months of planning, Savannah Day (pictured above in the middle) and her sisters finally got to see all of their hard work pay off. All in one place, in a super-sized mound of toys.
When Savannah and her sisters set out to brighten the holidays for other kids spending Christmas in the hospital, they hoped to collect around 500 toys. They blew that goal out of the water, with more than 4,000 toys making the trek by truck from Botetourt County, Virginia to Cincinnati Children’s.
Tomorrow, Savannah will undergo brain surgery to treat a Chiari malformation, where the back of the brain goes down below the base of the skull and into the upper spinal canal. She will then spend the next couple of weeks in the hospital recovering.
When Savannah found out that she was going to be at Cincinnati Children’s on Christmas, she and her sisters decided to start a toy drive to spread cheer to the other kids spending Christmas in the hospital with her. They call themselves Cheer 4 Savannah. ‘Cheer’ being the key word here.
Fourteen-year-old Savannah and her two sisters, Sierra and Chloe, are all cheerleaders. According to their mother, Michelle, the cheerleading community is pretty tightly-knit and very supportive of each other. So when they got wind of the three cheerleading sisters’ toy drive, the news spread like wildfire and seemingly everyone they encountered wanted to help.
The donations started trickling in, starting with their friends, family, and local community. Then they traveled to other cities for cheerleading competitions and started receiving gifts from other parts of Virginia and even Kentucky. Pretty soon CNN heard about their efforts and Cheer 4 Savannah received donations from as far away as California and Texas.
The sisters are completely overwhelmed and grateful for the response they’ve received. The toy drive has proven to be a welcome distraction leading up to Savannah’s surgery. And now that it’s here, they hope others will hear their story and be inspired to spread a little holiday cheer of their own.
To learn more about the Cheer 4 Savannah toy drive, please visit their fundraising page, or follow them on Facebook. They recently talked about the inspiration for their toy drive in a “Tell Me A Story:”