Augusta, Ga (WJBF)- A local girl made national news a year ago with her charitable foundation. Today, she continued her work at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.
Gracey Chafin is fourteen years old and she has been donating toys and wagons to young hospital patients for more than seven years.
“One of my best friends got diagnosed with leukemia and she lost all of her hair of course because of the treatments. And so my mom cut her hair and I was like well I wanna do something so I cut my hair too. And so she had a wig and that was awesome but I said that’s not enough at all,” said Gracey, founder of Lil G’s Wagons of Hope.
So, Gracey sold all of her toys at a yard sale and used the money to buy toys and wagons for the children at CHOG.
“We pull kids around because they get scared of the wheelchairs and crutches and beds and everything else, because you don’t know how long they’re gonna be there. You have to make them feel comfortable like they’re at home,” Gracey explained.
Gracey said that continuing this nonprofit is important to her because it gives children at the hospital hope and comfort during what is a difficult time. She also said that since she started Wagons of Hope she has delivered almost 450 wagons filled with toys to the Children’s Hospital.
Stephanie Grayson has been a child life specialist at ChOG for seven years and she says that the toys that Gracey and other donators provide are invaluable.
“A lot of kids…honestly people don’t want to be at the hospital. They don’t want to be sick and so giving them a little bit of something fun to do while they are at the hospital changes their world completely. So when people like Lil G’s in the community bring stuff in, it just brings joy and smiles to all of our kids faces,” said Grayson.
Gracey usually makes her yearly donation on her birthday, but this year, because of the pandemic, she was unable to do so. Instead she took some of the toys she collected and gave them to the teachers of younger special needs children in Aiken County to distribute to cheer them up after being stuck in quarantine. She also says that she hopes to get more people involved someday.
“And I hope that one day I’ll be able to pass it on to the next generation,” said Gracey.
Gracey is headed to her first year of high school and she says that she hopes to continue running Lil G’s Wagons of Hope for a very long time.
If you are interested in making a donation to Lil G’s Wagons of Hope and future deliveries, then click here to visit their Facebook group.