GALLIPOLIS — A Point Pleasant family spent the afternoon Thursday at Big Lots in Gallipolis selecting toys as part of a shopping spree for children receiving treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus as a way of giving back.
“The kids are very excited today and honored that Mikey was picked today to do this,” said mother Alison Allen. “Just to see the excitement is enough for me. We’re honored to be able to shop and help out other kids.”
According to Alison, her son Mikey, now 8, was admitted to the hospital at 17-months and cared for as a patient diagnosed with epilepsy. Mikey was also treated for developmental and speech delays. His family recently found that some of Mikey’s conditions also fall under the autism spectrum, ADHD and a sensory processing disorder.
“The neurology department up there (at the hospital) we love and we can’t thank them enough for their care with (Mikey),” said Alison. “These gifts are for the inpatient children to just kind of brighten their day and make them feel better. We were there twice (at the hospital) and only there for a couple days and it’s just overwhelming. It’s a big deal for a little kid to be in the hospital and this is to help them.”
Mikey and his sister Allie picked out a variety of toys with smiles and enthusiasm before rolling up to the checkout line of the Big Lots with several carts. Father Jeff was also along to assist with the shopping spree.
Mikey loves to play basketball in a local league despite his conditions and learned to ride a bike with no training wheels this past summer.
The shopping spree is part of the Give for Kids program, a partnership between Big Lots and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Big Lots has reportedly been fundraising to help the hospital since 2015 and raised over $8 million for children across the country. A spring campaign raised over $2 million and the program hopes to surpass that score this fall.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.