MIGHTY MEREDITH PROJECT founder Meredith Casey and her mom Karen were thrilled to receive the van load of gifts destined for hospitalized children from the Fill the Box kick off toy drive hosted by the North Reading Mason. (Courtesy Photo)


NORTH READING — The new toy collection for The Mighty Meredith Project at the North Reading Masonic Lodge was a huge success. The North Reading community demonstrated their generous support by showing up and donating loads of new toys last weekend.

The collection event was visited by North Reading residents, parents, seniors, sports coaches, local professionals and even students. For the second year in a row, this collection filled an entire mini-van full of toys and gift cards that were then delivered to the Mighty Meredith Project for wrapping and subsequent distribution to hospitalized children during the upcoming holidays.

“Collections of toys are difficult this time of year. Many people aren’t in the ‘gift-buying’ mode before Thanksgiving. Many people are focusing on food donations to the food pantry, or planning for travel during the November holiday. It is a credit to the North Reading residents and a credit to a group like the North Reading Masons, and a credit to Meredith Casey and how people want to support Mighty Meredith Project,” said Matt Libby who organized this event through the Masons on behalf of MMP.

“This year, there was a lot of mobilization to make this event a success,” added Libby. “It started with Meredith’s dedication to helping these families and children in the hospital. The North Reading Masons, under leadership from Wor. Bill McIntire agreeing to host the event and giving it a visible collection point, is huge. Then local businesses like CR Signs quickly printed the street signs, Moynihan Lumber, Play-it-Again Sports and other businesses posted flyers on their doors. Using the Transcript and social media for publicity is immeasurable in local promotion. And, finally, the North Reading youth sports world of Matt LaVerdiere, promoting it to NRYS coaches, and North Reading Flag Football hosting Mighty Meredith boxes during a weekend of flag football games really came together to make a hugely impactful event.”

Added Wor. Bill McIntire, “We look forward to hosting the Mighty Meredith Project again next year and building on the strong community support from North Reading.”

The MMP has set a goal of donating $25,000 worth of toys and gift cards during this year’s Fill the Box campaign. Those who missed last weekend’s collection but would still like to contribute should look for the white boxes with the distinctive Mighty Meredith Project logo at locations throughout town to drop off new, unwrapped toys for newborns through 18-year-olds.