Generosity: Siblings deserve praise for gift basket work

When three siblings from Tuppers Plains decided to give gift baskets to patients at the Strecker Cancer Center, as a way to cheer up the patients but also honor a late relative’s own fight with cancer, they “didn’t think it would be that big a deal,” according to the oldest, 19-year-old Kylie Long.

In fact, it is a very big deal to those who benefit from the young people’s generosity and caring.

“Words can’t even express how grateful I am to receive this,” said Parkersburg resident Mary Ellen Dearth, who was at the center for treatment. The basket filled with a handmade blanket, book, gas card, inspirational booklet, hand sanitizer and more is “just a wonderful, wonderful gift from these … young ladies and gentleman.

McKenzie Long, 13, and brother Haidyn Elliott, 8, complete the trio that has raised funds any way they can — candy bars, bake sales, and a GoFundMe account — to bring a bright spot to patients who need a little extra support. For the first couple of years, they managed to do so without attracting much attention.

But the funny thing about folks who hope to carry out their acts of kindness quietly is that there is usually someone else who hopes they get the thanks and recognition they deserve.

“They don’t do it for any” recognition, said Michaela Woomer, site coordinator for the center’s Belpre location. “They don’t expect anything. They just want to give. It would be nice if everybody cared like they do.”

And it is remarkable how much these three care; and that they decided to do something about it. Kylie, McKenzie and Haidyn might not have sought out attention, but they deserve more than the mere pat on the back we can give here. Their spirit should serve as inspiration to all young people who see a need and decide to meet it, themselves.