One Central New York boy was so moved by an act of kindness shown to him, he decided he would pay it forward to other children in need.

James Simon was just 7 years old when he was rushed to the St. Elizabeth Medical Center emergency room on Christmas morning. He had a 105-degree fever - concerning in anyone, but especially in a child. The nurse checked him in and told the frightened boy she would be right back. When she returned, she had a gift for James. It was Christmas, after all.

The West Winfield boy was so moved by this gesture, even at such a young age, he knew he wanted to do the same for other children that might find themselves in the hospital on Christmas. The following year, James enlisted the help of his Cub Scout Pack to collect toys for St. Elizabeth. They collected over a hundred toys. The Annual James Simon Toy Drive was born. 

Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM - Cub Scout Pack 21 West Winfield, NY
Credit: Beth Coombs/TSM - Cub Scout Pack 21 West Winfield, NY

This year, 10-year-old James and Cub Scout Pack 21 collected over 250 toys for donation to St. Elizabeth, Bassett Hospital, and Chenango Memorial Hospital. 

This is the third year of the toy drive, and for every one of those years, James has been helped by his friends Nathan Barrett, Reagan Blades, Lorton Plumer, Jordan Iorio, and Josh Case. The Cub Scout Leader, Jessica Phelps, and Den Leader, Richard Barrett have been supportive and helped to collect the toys as well.

As a result of their efforts, a Christmas spent in a CNY hospital won't be without a little Christmas spirit.

If you'd like to support the Toy Drive, call James at 315-316-5818 or you can send monetary donations to James Simon Toy Drive, PO Box 201, Leonardsville, NY 13364.



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