TEMPLE, Texas — Allison Dickson has spent many holidays at McLane Children's Hospital and she's giving back to the place where she has received years of care.
She began the Brighten a Child Holiday Project to donate stuffed animals to patients at McLane Children's Hospital who were admitted during the holidays.
"The purpose of it is to really brighten the children's holidays," Allison said. "The holidays can be a very tough time when you're not where you want to be, if you're ill or just need an extra boost."
Now, she's collecting toys for "Christmas in July" so Bell County kids can get that extra boost no matter the season.
Allison was diagnosed with Werdnig-Hoffmann Disease, which is a form of muscular dystrophy, and she has lived past the short life sentence her doctors gave her years ago.
"Each Christmas I do a stuffed animal drive for the children at McLane Children's Hospital with Baylor Scott and White. I also pick a secondary nonprofit that's in the area," Allison said.
Allison planned to donate 200 stuffed animals to children last year, but she had to be hospitalized. Now that she's home and healthy, she plans to donate more than 400 toys to McLane Children's Hospital: 90 to the Child Advocacy Center, 10 to the Dallas Children's hospital and $500 to the Allison Dickson Proud Scholarship.
Hospital representatives and Temple High School football players will pick up the toys from Allison's home Wednesday and drop them off at the hospital.
"We talk about 'Temple tough' all the time," Temple head football coach Scott Stewart said. "It's hard for me to sit there and listen to excuses for why somebody can't do something and then you come talk to this young lady for five minutes and it's a true inspiration."
Donated money left over from Wednesday's delivery will go to existing scholarship funds in Allison's name.
If you'd like to help Allison with any future projects, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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