Debi Carr recently submitted the following letter to Gloucester Township Patch. We felt Christmas Day would be a perfect time to share this inspiring story of her son's efforts to turn his "bad" day into an opportunity to spread holiday joy to those impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
My son Raymond, who has Down syndrome and autism, goes to Communicare, an adult day center in Washington Township, and had a "bad" day at school, so, as part of his "good behavior reward," had to do a good deed for the school. He sent out fliers to all family and friends and the Hider Lane Senior Club group asking for toy donations for Hurricane Sandy victims.
We were very overwhelmed by the Chili's restaurant in Deptford—thanks to the Harkins and Long families in Gloucester Township—that they came with lots of bags of toys for Raymond to accomplish his goal of 70 toys for the K-5 school where they are being sent. We haven't actually counted the toys, but I know if it weren't for the kindness of these people he would have never reached his goal. (A tally later revealed Raymond's toy drive brought in 455 toys.)
Raymond is so excited. From day one, he went door to door asking for donations and every day he would say, "Toys to Communicare," as we watched the pile grow. This has "touched home" for us as a family. My uncle lives in Beach Haven West and has lost everything—house ,contents, etc. with no flood insurance. So we have been going through a lot with my uncle and are lucky that he can stay with us until he can repair and rebuild. He was devastated by the hurricane as I am sure lots of people were. But these toys are going to a K-5 school where the children aged 5 to 11 years old, are still living in motels, with no classrooms or families to go to.
Just thought you might be able to put something in as a big "Thank you" to all those who contributed to Raymond's mission from the Carr family.