Grace Ann Warren, of Adairville, is quite an exceptional child. When most kids her age are thinking about what they will get for Christmas, little Grace Ann is thinking about what others will get. Although Grace Ann is only 7 years old and in the second grade at Adairville school, she proved that despite being little you can make a difference by having a big heart and caring for others.
It all began, says her mom Alice, when she and Grace Ann were sitting at home watching television. A commercial came on for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Grace Ann looked at her mom and asked if for one of her Christmas wishes she could collect toys to give to the kids in the hospital. Grace Ann’s mom says she was blown away at her daughter’s request. The little second grader said she was afraid the kids at the hospital would be sad because they were not home for Christmas.
“It was so awesome. It made me cry,” said Alice.
One of the reasons, other than her wanting to give to others, that made the request so special to Grace Ann’s mom, was that Grace Ann herself had spent Christmas in the hospital when she was smaller, having to have open heart surgery to repair five holes in her a heart. This is why Grace Ann chose Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, the one she was in, as the place to focus her love on.
Alice said she contacted the hospital to see what they needed to do to get the gifts to the children there. “They sent me a link with a list of things we could collect,” said Alice. Grace Ann then drew a picture to take around to people to get donations.
“She was so excited to receive all the gifts donated from family and friends,” said Alice. “We took the gifts to the family resource department at Vanderbilt on Friday, Dec. 13. Grace Ann had to load them up herself and take them in. We hadn’t even made it back to the car when Grace Ann began talking about doing this again next year.”
Alice and Grace Ann’s father Donny are going to set aside space in Grace Ann’s play house to start storing for next year. This is something Grace Ann is very passionate about, and hopes to get the community involved in as well to help her make Christmas special for those who cannot be home for the holidays.