By Neil Watkins
A lot has been written about 9-year-old Abbey Aney, and rightly so. As we enter into December and the Christmas holidays, she is right at the top of my list of heroes in our community!
In case you don’t know about Abbey, let me introduce you. She is a lovely and lively young girl with a sparkle in her eye and a big and generous heart. Since the age of 4, Abbey has made it her mission to try to supply every child in Monroe with a special gift for Christmas. She feels strongly that Christmas morning should be special for everyone.
For the last four years the Sky Valley Food Bank has been the grateful recipient of Abbey’s generosity. Each year, despite ongoing health problems, Abbey collects and saves money, even foregoing birthday gifts, for a big shopping spree at the dollar store, purchasing baskets and baskets of dolls and bears, building blocks and board games that make their way from the dollar store to the “Toy Room” at the Sky Valley Food Bank to become a part of our annual “Hope for the Holidays” program. Last year Abbey delivered literally hundreds and hundreds of toys, providing joy to so many children.
You can help Abbey reach her goal of making sure that all children in Monroe have a special gift during the holiday season. “Hope for the Holidays” provides gifts for the children of Food Bank clients, ages infant to 13 years. Toys, dolls, games, winter hats and scarves and mittens can be donated now to the Sky Valley Food Bank or directly to Abbey at her toy drive on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Haight Carpet in Monroe. She also has toy barrels located at Haight Carpet, Grow with Me Boutique, Real Deals Home Décor, and the City of Monroe, where toys can be dropped off. One hundred percent of all she collects goes to Monroe’s children.
This year’s gifts will be distributed to preregistered clients on Dec. 17, 19, and 21 from 9-11:30 a.m., and on Dec. 17 from 5:30-7 p.m. Abbey will be joining the Sky Valley team again this year to share in the joy of giving to those less fortunate.
Neil Watkins is the director of the Sky Valley Food Bank