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Hasbro Children's Hospital receives Santa sacks to lift sick kids' spirits

Hasbro Children's Hospital receives Santa sacks to lift sick kids' spirits. (WJAR)
Hasbro Children's Hospital receives Santa sacks to lift sick kids' spirits. (WJAR)
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Big red bags were delivered to Hasbro Children's hospital on Thursday.

A few dozen "Santa sacks" will soon be in the hands of deserving sick children.

Ali Hornung of North Kingstown created "The Glimmer of Hope Foundation" a few months ago.

The nonprofit's purpose is to boost self-confidence for kids battling cancer, primarily girls.

NBC 10 News first met Hornung several months ago when she started "Miracle Masks." She hand-made about 3,000 face masks and used money from the sale of them to help the kids.

"I'm always stressed out about money when it comes to the foundation but I'm like, 'OK, our community is rallying behind us. I don't need to be stressed out about money'," said Hornung.

Over the last few months, her foundation has donated more than 50 bald American Girl Dolls to kids with cancer. They also send care packages and provide support for families in need across the country.

"We just completely lucked out with the support of our community," said Hornung. "This year we have 30 Santa Sacks for this drop off, we've donated 12 dolls in 12 days, and we are also donating an entire Christmas to a family with a child battling cancer."

On Thursday, "The Maddie Potts Foundation" donated a trailer so Hornung and volunteers could fill it with their Santa sacks.

They drove it to Hasbro Children's Hospital and were met with members of the East Providence Police Department and the Providence Police Department.

Collectively, they took the Santa sacks out of the trailer and onto stretchers outside of the hospital.

"They all have a bunch of toys, they all are probably worth around $200," said Hornung. "The community came together to make this happen. Jen and Candace in the past two months just being their amazing selves have raised more than $7,000 for us, which is so amazing for us."

Candace Pacheco, a patrolwoman of the East Providence Police Department, is one of the officers who helped spearhead the holiday drop off.

"Every November, we do 'No Shave November,' so the men of the department get to go a little outside policy and grow a beard and with that, they make a donation to an organization that we chose. And this year, we chose 'The Glimmer of Hope Foundation'," said Pacheco. "She just makes such a big impact in these children's lives and we were just happy to support her in those efforts."

East Providence police donated over $4,000 that Hornung used to buy the gifts she then put inside of the Santa sacks.

"Each member of the department donated $50, minimum" said Pacheco. "Everybody is going through a tough time right now and I can't even imagine what they're going through, what it must be like, so it's nice we can hopefully make a positive impact."

The sacks will be going to the fifth floor of Hasbro Children's Hospital to The Izzy Family Room, which is a space used to support patients with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

A majority of the gifts inside are for children ages 10 to 15 years old.

"When Ali reached out, I said, 'We need to find stuff for kids ages 10 to 13 like that's the age group we really need to get some stuff for'," said Erin Scott, the executive director of The Izzy Foundation. "I think this is happening at the perfect time. Right now, the isolation feels really big right now at Hasbro, only one parent and one child can be in a room together."

Some of the Santa sacks were distributed to kids on Thursday. Others will receive them over the next week.

"I think visitors are what makes hospitals stay brighter and not being able to have that and spending the holidays in the hospital on top of that I'm hoping that these Santa sacks bring them a little bit of Ella's joy and essence we try to spread through the foundation," said Hornung.

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