Hundreds of gifts donated to local kids with Embracing Emma St. Jude Toy Drive

Local News

"Emma has an amazing following and clearly she has touched so many lives."

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Central Illinoisans are continuing to embrace Emma Welp’s eternal gift of giving.

Three big bins filled to the brim with toys are now on their way to kids at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois (CHOI).

“We made an Amazon wish list for the clinic and Laura posted it on Facebook, and the amount of items that we received off of our Wishlist was completely wiped out, the whole entire list,” said CHOI Child Life Specialist Allison West.

“Emma has an amazing following and clearly she has touched so many lives,” said West.

The donation is the product of the embracing Emma St. Jude Toy Drive. Emma died in May after battling a rare brain cancer. Her parents and twin sister Abby preserved her memory by giving back to the Peoria hospital, which helped Emma during her journey.

“Her mother told me she had this epiphany in the shower that she wanted to do something big for Emma. Emma and I spent a lot of time together in the clinic while she was here for appointments. Her mother wanted to do something to give back to those kids, and Emma would’ve wanted that too with her kind heart,” said West.

She said these gifts will be used as treasure box items. Throughout the year, they will use these gifts as positive reinforcements for kids.

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