Foundation News

Donation from a Wakefield Teen

When 12-year-old Olivia Michaud of Wakefield began planning for her spring bat mitzvah, she instantly knew which organization she wanted her community service efforts to benefit: Winchester Hospital, her family’s long-time hospital.

Over the summer, Olivia created and distributed a flier publicizing her book and magazine drive to family members, friends and neighbors. She painted drop-off boxes and signs for three locations: her home, her father’s office in Burlington and her grandmother’s home in Lynnfield. When she mailed invitations for the bat mitzvah celebration, she asked guests to contribute to her collection efforts.

In November 2011, Olivia was joined by her parents Lori and Rick, sister Julia and brother Owen in delivering 300 magazines in five baskets made from recycled magazines, 130 new children’s books, 20 new adult books, four new crossword/Sudoku books and five new stuffed animals to Winchester Hospital. Additionally, Olivia plans to donate 40 used books to a local library.

According to Jillian Buttaro, manager of adult volunteers at Winchester Hospital, the donated books were divided among the Pediatric Unit, Emergency Department and Day Surgery Unit. The magazines were distributed in waiting rooms throughout the hospital. “Our patients and visitors will be so appreciative,” she said.

As the donations poured in, Olivia said they nearly overtook her garage. “I want kids and adult patients to know someone is doing something for them,” said Olivia, a seventh grader at Galvin Middle School in Wakefield. “I want them to feel good when they are in the hospital.”

Lori Michaud noted that Olivia used her own money to purchase the stuffed animals and several books. “As a mother, it was so wonderful to see Olivia learn this lesson in doing good for other people,” she added. “We’re fortunate that we haven’t had to utilize Winchester Hospital too often, but we’ve had a great experience every time we’ve come. This was a wonderful chance to give back.”

Rather than making this is a one-time event, Olivia said she intends to donate books purchased with her own money to Winchester Hospital each fall until she graduates from high school.

“If you do it once, you just help once,” she said. “I want to keep helping.”

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