Elijah Redmond, an 18 year-old senior at Oakcrest High School, donated 60 Valentine's Day gift bags to be distributed to patients at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Specialty Care Center in Mays Landing.
Elijah was born with a hole in his heart. When he was nine months old he had open heart surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, New York. He has received follow-up care since then at CHOP's Specialty Care Center in Mays Landing.
Now that Elijah is 18, his next appointment at CHOP will be his last because he would have aged out of attending their facility. He wanted to do something nice for the children who currently receive care at the Mays Landing center. Since Valentine's Day was coming up, and associated with hearts, he decided to donate Valentine's Day gift bags. Elijah took his birthday and Christmas money and purchased coloring books, crayons, and sticker sets to go in each bag. His mother, Jodi Anderson, is a fourth grade teacher at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School Complex in Atlantic City. She thought it would be a great altruistic activity for the fourth grade students at her school to create handmade Valentine's to go in each bag. Elijah came to his mother's school on January 31 and assisted the students with creating the cards, and everyone helped to assemble the gift bags.
The gift bags were delivered to CHOP on Thursday, Feb. 7.