Hailey's Helping Hands' 'Hope Raiser' fills a fire truck with toys

Dec 17, 2012

The second annual Holiday Hope Raiser, held at Stevie B's in Onset and organized by Hailey's Helping Hands, filled a fire truck with more than 100 toys on Saturday, Dec. 15.

The toys will be donated to cancer patients in memory of Wareham resident Hailey Jean Pease, who lost her battle with leukemia in 2011. She was 8-years-old.

"Look at it!" Shannon Maxim, Hailey's mother, said on Saturday afternoon as she gestured toward the toys in the fire truck. "It's amazing!"

The event is called the "Hope Raiser," rather than "fundraiser," because Hailey's Helping Hands aims to bring joy to families who are spending the holidays in the hospital. The toys will be donated to the cancer centers in Boston Children's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The Hope Raiser may have also inadvertently brought joy to anyone who drove down Onset Avenue on Saturday, as Onset Firefighter Jeff Osswald, dressed as the famous Buddy the Elf, danced in the chilly temperatures, and firefighter Rachel Rawlings shivered while holding a giant sign directing people to fill the adjacent fire truck with toys.

Maxim thanked the firefighters and Stevie B's for their assistance with the event, which was pulled together very quickly.

"There's no not doing it!" Rawlings yelled as a car whizzed by, beeping its horn at the dancing elf.

Maxim also said she was grateful to Hidden Hobbies in East Wareham, which recently held a toy drive as admission to a tournament, and donated the toys collected to the Hope Raiser.

The toys will be delivered to the hospitals this week, just in time for Christmas. (Osswald would not comment on whether he'd be donning the elf costume for that trip.)

Hailey's Helping Hands, which is working to obtain its nonprofit status, was recently recognized by the Wareham Board of Selectmen for its work in assisting families with sick children.