Four-year old Blake Utley, of Murrayville, had a birthday party Sunday, but instead of keeping the gifts for himself, he donated all of his gifts to the St. John’s Hospital’s pediatric ward in honor of 5-year-old Caylee Gaige, of Murrayville, who lost her fight with leukemia last year.
Blake’s mom, Mary Ann said that Caylee’s mom, Jill Gaige, “has done so much charity work since Caylee passed away. She has raised so much money to personally help kids that can’t afford to have the treatments that they desperately need. The selfless things she has done is so inspiring to me.”
Another huge part of Mary Ann’s inspiration to teach Blake about acts of kindness was the loss of her best friend Jill. Jill lost her battle with cancer about the same time that Caylee was beginning her cancer fight.
Mary Ann says, “Blake came up to me a few months ago asking if we could donate one of his toys, and that made me feel like maybe he was mature enough to start learning more about acts of kindness. We have been blessed with so many acts of kindness that I felt like it was a good opportunity to teach him how to pay it forward.”
It’s hard to make pre-schoolers understand giving toys away, but Mary Ann said, “Blake has been amazing! We just kept reminding him that these gifts weren’t his to keep, but that we were going to give them to kids that were really sick to make them feel better. He was just so excited to be having a party.”
Thank you, Blake, for your generosity and helping sick kids feel a little bit better.