The Kate’s Cause Birthday Toy Drive is always a little bittersweet for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love it and it’s a perfectly Kate way to give back to the community. But, it also makes me think about the utter joy on her face as she opened presents. It didn’t really matter the occasion or what was under the wrapping paper, she loved opening gifts. You’re probably thinking what kid doesn’t, and that’s true. But with Kate, it was as much about getting the gift as it was about her wanting you to know just how much she appreciated it.
I remember sitting on the couch at Lindsay and Mike’s house with a present I was pretty sure she would love. It was 2014, she was in the middle of treatment and it was a particularly tough time. As I watched her open it, she watched me out of the corner of her eye, pausing to oooh and aaah every so often, gently pulling off the wrapping paper. As she pulled the Pteranodon wings out of the paper, she started grinning ear-to-ear. For the next 15 or so minutes, she flew around the room being chased by her daddy wearing a T-rex head. It was 15 minutes of perfection. The memory is so strong that I can close my eyes and replay it in my head. It’s how I often think of her now — flying around, being goofy, with a big grin on her face. I always stop when I see toys in the store. I look for ones that I’m pretty sure she would like, and I think about her and those wings.
If you haven’t had a chance, take a look at the toy drive list. Find a toy that makes you smile. Think about the joy it would bring to kiddos fighting for their lives, and help Kate’s Cause bring an ear-to-ear grin to another beautiful face.