Instead of receiving birthday gifts this year, eight-year-old Gunner Bartels decided to ask his friends to bring a toy to his party on February 22 to give to a child in the hospital. The Mattoon second grader and his parents donated a wagon load of toys, including games, puzzles, action figures, coloring books, and crayons, to bring a smile to children who are hospitalized in the Women and Children’s Center at Sarah Bush Lincoln.
“I was feeling bad for kids that are sick,” Gunner said. “I thought they might get bored in the hospital and toys would make them happy.” Parents Jaime and Travis Bartels are proud of their son’s selfless act and contributed a number of toys to the cause as well. Gunner, his parents and two-year-old sister Annabelle, are pictured with their toy donation.