NORTH READING — The North Reading Masons are hosting a new toy collection for the Mighty Meredith Project this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18 and 19, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Masonic Lodge, 283 Park St.
The Mighty Meredith Project is in need of new unwrapped toys, games and clothes as well as gift cards to donate to hospitalized children throughout the year, especially during the holiday season.
North Reading is fortunate to have a strong charitable group that supports families in need based in town. The Mighty Meredith Project is run by North Reading teenager Meredith Casey with the support of her mom, Karen Bradlinski Casey, and their family and friends. They are looking for new toy donations to support their “Fill the Box” mission to help children and teens pass the time and deal with the stress that comes with a hospitalization.
Donate items or gift cards you believe a child or teen would want to receive and remember that each donation is appreciated.
To find out more about the MMP visit their webpage at www.mightymeredith.com. A wish list is included on the page. For those who are unable to swing by on those collection days, there is a ”donate now” option on the MMP home page. All toys, games and donations are brought to Meredith’s wrapping station where volunteers will match the toys with the proper patients/families to help make their holidays a little brighter.
“North Reading Masons are a community-based group of men who enjoy helping others. We work with local groups who share a similar desire to make our community better and to bring joy to those in need. Under the current leadership of Kevin Maresco, the Masons have provided assistance to many local groups and individuals. The Masons are very pleased to provide a collection location for such a worthy group as the Mighty Meredith Project,” commented Mason Matt Libby, who noted that this is the fourth year the Masons have hosted the MMP toy collection.
MMP remains special to Libby whose family unknowingly benefited from the Mighty Meredith Project when his son, Christopher, was hospitalized at Tufts Floating Hospital a few years ago. “Bringing a child to the hospital can be very scary and unsettling for a family. So, when the nurse brought a gaming system to Christopher, it provided a much-needed distraction for the patient and family to get through a difficult and intense time,” recalled Libby.
The Libby family later discovered that they hadn’t received special treatment; this was a typical experience for young patients entering the hospital thanks to the Mighty Meredith Project’s “Be Kind” mission and the generous donations from caring people in this community.
Since then, the Libby family has returned to children’s hospitals and their satellite facilities for routine tests and treatments for two of their sons, Chris and Charlie. “I love to see the young patients when they have a game or toy in their hands. I know Meredith had a hand in that. It brings such joy to the patient and it allows the parents to relax, knowing that their child is comfortable,” Libby said.
The Nov. 18 and 19 “Fill the Box” collection at the Masonic Lodge is a major collection event for the Mighty Meredith Project and local residents have proven to be very generous during the past three years. In 2020, more than 500 donations from North Reading residents were collected. The 2021 and 2022 collections surpassed the amount collected the previous year respectively. “Each year, we were able to stuff a minivan full of toys. The goal is to surpass that amount and spread more joy to more families during the 2023 holiday season,” said Libby.