Unsung Hero: Savannah Simpson

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By Ashley Smith
By Josue

EWING -- A young girl from Franklin County asked for a list of gifts for her 8th birthday.  Rather than keeping the toys and games, she donated all of them to a local hospital.

Savannah Simpson looks forward to Christmas and her birthday each year. 

The two occasions are only weeks apart. After Santa brought her lots of fun toys for Christmas, she started planning her 8th birthday party. 
 
Savannah included a detailed wish list on her party invitations. Dozens of people came to the party and brought exactly what Savannah requested. But Savannah didn't keep any of those gifts.
 
"I got so much stuff for Christmas, and I got a lot of stuff that I wanted, and they are redoing the pediatrics center," said Savannah Simpson.
 
Savannah donated several bags of toys to the pediatric center at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.  
She and her mom were even able to take the gifts to the hospital and see the excitement the toys brought to some of the kids there.
 
"It was exciting because they were just laying in bed doing nothing, and they got this coloring book and it was kind of fun," remembers Savannah.
 
Savannah knows how important a coloring book or game can be when you are admitted to the hospital.
 
"When she was four or five years old she had to stay about a week in the hospital, and she remembered feeling bad," explains Savannah's mom Dawn Simpson, "But she remembered getting to go to the toy room and that being really exciting."
 
Even though Savannah came up with the idea to help others, she couldn't have done it without the help of family and friends who came to her party and donated so many gifts. 
 
"It was amazing, the people were really excited to be able to give something. That it wasn't so much about focusing on one kid, almost like a selfish need, it was more selfless.  I think everybody felt good about giving," said Dawn.
 
Savannah says she's planning to do something for those in need next year when she turns nine.
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