This 13-Year-Old is Giving Hope to Kids in Her Local Georgia Hospital
Gracey Chafin proves anyone can make a difference in the lives of others—no matter how young.
When Gracey Chafin was six years old, she learned some devastating news, one of her schoolmates was battling leukemia. In the wake of that heartbreaking diagnosis—and the knowledge that someone in their community was suffering—the Chafin family knew they had to do whatever they could to help.
When the sick little girl lost her hair from the chemotherapy drugs, Gracey's mom, Stacey Chafin, donated 16 inches of her hair to make a custom wig, according to Augusta University's website. Her mother's kind action inspired Gracey to do the same, offering up her own hair to the Locks of Love organization, as well. But Gracey didn't want to stop at just donating her hair. She wanted to do more.
After selling cinnamon rolls and coffee at her Graniteville, S.C., neighborhood yard sale with her family, she had her parents contact the Children's Hospital of Georgia to find out the best way to donate it. Turns out the hospital really needed Radio Flyer wagons to pull the kids in so they could have a little fun instead of being stuck in wheelchairs all day. Gracey used her yard sale earnings to buy a wagon and filled it with toys and supplies that the hospital wanted for the kids. Once again, though, Gracey wanted to do more.
At just seven years old, she contacted her school principal and helped organize a school-wide fundraiser to buy more wagons filled with more toys for the kids battling illnesses in the hospital, according to her father's story, posted at RadioFlyer.com. The first year she raised enough money for 15 wagons and 3000 items and Lil G's Wagons of Hope, her own foundation, was born.
Seven years later, Gracey is still at it, filling Radio Flyer wagons with donations from the community and wheeling them to the Children's Hospital of Georgia,on her birthday each year, according to the page set up in her honor by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.Now, Lil G's Wagons of Hope have raised enough money to purchase more than 300 Radio Flyer Wagons and 50,000 toys for the kids staying at the Children's Hospital of Georgia, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
While the middle school student donates her time and energy out of the goodness of her heart, her kind actions have earned her praise from her community, her state, and now the national media. The 13-year old appeared on the Today show, who featured the generous student on the show. Gracey's determination and drive to help brighten the days of pediatric patients is a good reminder that anyone—no matter how young they are— with a desire to help can make a difference in the lives of other.