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5-year-old girl foregoes birthday gifts, asks for blankets for sick kids instead.

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Talk about a little girl doing big things! Maddie Howell is just 5-year-old, yet she has the biggest heart in town. The little sweetie, for the second year in a row, asked friends and family not to bring presents to her birthday party, and instead had them bring blankets for sick kids.

Maddie donated the blankets to the #WarmUpWNY drive we’ve told you about. Today, she, along with Senator Tim Kennedy and others, delivered those blankets and all of the others collected in this drive.



“We are blessed with a very special child. At an age when her biggest problem should be figuring out which toys to ask for, she is counting blankets and reminding us how many more she needs to reach her goal,” said Maddie’s parents, Rebecca and Kevin Howell. “She has an enormous heart and especially loves being able to help other children. We couldn’t be prouder.”

Maddie had some help from lawmakers, construction companies, and a very generous public – and get this – together they all collected 8,000 blankets for sick children at Oishei Children’s Hospital. That is one for each child that passes through the hospital doors this year.



Construction Companies building something different; a blanket drive for sick kids!


Mary Friona

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Mary Friona

Following my heart with my husband and four daughters. An Emmy Award winning journalist lucky enough to work in television & radio for 20 years - seeing wonderful places, meeting great people and telling their stories.

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