MES student raises money for Camp Smile-A-Mile

Nancy Kay Sharman, center, joins Kellie Reece, left, and Madison Kaitlyn Monday, right, with the Camp Smile-A-Mile Hospital Outreach Program. (Contributed)

Nancy Kay Sharman, center, joins Kellie Reece, left, and Madison Kaitlyn Monday, right, with the Camp Smile-A-Mile Hospital Outreach Program. (Contributed)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Montevallo Elementary School student Nancy Kay Sharman recently set a goal of raising enough money to buy just one American Girl doll to donate to a child battling cancer. Thanks to donations that were made to a Gofundme.com online fundraising account her parents helped her establish, Nancy Kay had the pleasure of delivering not one, but 11 American Girl dolls to Camp Smile-A-Mile on Jan. 6.

The fourth-grader came to her mother in September as the community of Montevallo was coming together to raise awareness about childhood cancer.

“She, along with many other students, were greatly impacted by the loss of a fellow student, Ollie Tetloff, to this horrible disease, and watched as the community came together to celebrate his life and honor him by raising awareness,” said Mary Sharman, a teacher at Montevallo Elementary. “She stated that she wanted to raise money to buy one American Girl Doll.  She said, ‘If I could just make one little girl happy, it would be so great.’”

After creating the Gofundme.com account, Nancy Kay created a flyer and asked family and friends to donate so that she could buy just one doll. After four days, she had raised enough for five dolls and by the end of November she had raised enough for 11 dolls to be donated to Camp-Smile-a-Mile at Children’s Hospital.

Camp- Smile-A-Mile has a hospital outreach program that goes to the pediatric oncology unit each week at Children’s Hospital and does “camp” activities each week with the students that are currently undergoing treatment.

“When she went to choose the dolls, she was careful to choose ones that she felt would be special and loved,” said her mother.

After she purchased the dolls, the money continued to come in so she, along with her family, decided to continue to give to Camp-Smile-A-Mile once a month. Their plan is to take any donated money and choose items from the organization’s wish lists and make a trip to see them each month to deliver the items. This month, because her 6-year-old brother Joshua has shown an interest, Nancy Kay said she will let him choose the items to donate. He has chosen art and craft supplies.

MES school counselor, Wendy Williford, accompanied Nancy Kay and her mother to make the donation last week.  She said it was a day she will never forget.

“Nancy Kay invited me to tag along and witness the amazing thing she has done. When our precious Ollie passed away, she told her mom she wanted to do something for kids with cancer. And she didn’t want to do something small. She was ready to make an impact,” said Williford. “Her goal is to give kids a reason to smile on a day when they simply do not feel like smiling. And she’s not finished!  She will continue to raise money for children with cancer. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of our Nancy Kay! I know Ollie is smiling big tonight!”