In February, Elizabeth Smith’s 2-year-old nephew Kyle Matthew Smith passed away from myotonic dystrophy, a type of muscular dystrophy.
“He spent a large portion of his life at Akron Children’s Hospital,” Elizabeth said. “His death obviously had a big impact on my children, so they decided they wanted to raise money for Akron Children’s.”
Elizabeth’s children, Ellie, 11, Emma, 8, and Eva, 7, made cardboard signs that read “Fundraiser for Akron Children’s Hospital in honor of Kyle Matthew Smith to support myotonic dystrophy” and stood on their street corner with 2 of their neighbors, Gavin and Brayden Sindelar.
“I thought, oh that’s so cute, maybe they’ll raise a couple dollars,” Elizabeth said. “But then they kept running into the house every half hour and giving me updates on how much they raised, and people kept stopping to donate.”
Ellie, Emma and Eva collected donations at the corner for several days and went door-to-door too, offering baked goods Ellie had made in exchange for donations.
“A Wadsworth police officer stopped to ask them what they were raising money for and why, and he told them he only had $2 on him but that he would be back,” Elizabeth said. “He came back with $77 he’d collected from the rest of the officers at the station.”
Elizabeth shared her kids’ fundraising efforts on Facebook. Her uncle commented on the post and told her whatever the kids raised, he would match. Ellie, Emma and Eva decided their goal would be to raise $250 and then have Elizabeth’s uncle match it for a total of $500.
“Well, after 8 days they made it to $750 and my uncle kept his word and brought over a check for $750,” Elizabeth said.
The Smith and Sindelar families came to Akron Children’s for an official check presentation of the $1,500 they raised, which the kids thought was really special.
“It’s one of those proud parent moments,” Elizabeth said. “I had nothing to do with it; the kids came up with the l idea themselves.”