Jake’s Pillow Pets legacy continues
BY LA TONYA JORDAN
Jake started his Pillow Pets legacy in January 2011. He was being treated for Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and fatal cancer. While being treated, he told his mother he wanted every sick child to receive a Pillow Pet because the hospitals, doctors, and nurses can be scary. So the mission began. He and his mother started a goal of 1,000. To date, 500,000, including the 7,000 just used for Super Baskets of Hope, have been delivered to sick children around the country.
More than 200 Northview volunteers gathered on Saturday, Feb. 4, to prepare Pillow Pets for Super Baskets of Hope, which is an initiative to give hope to sick kids in all 32 NFL cities. Then Tuesday, Feb. 7, Jake’s mother, Tosha McConahany, along with a few other Northview volunteers, were at Riley Hospital for Children to hand-deliver the Pillow Pets and baskets designated for Riley’s patients. According to Tosha, “It just made my mind up that we have to keep doing this. This simple pillow brings hope and encouragement to the kids,” she said. It reminds the children they are not forgotten.
Jake is in heaven doing the happy dance every time a child gets a Pillow Pet. It is a God thing this has happened; it is a God thing that a 7-year-old boy who died five months ago has his legacy go on. He is still working in heaven. Jake was an awesome kid. He is dearly missed. God is using us, his community and the church. Tosha says she “can’t wait to get to heaven and do the happy dance with him.”
Christy McAlpine, a volunteer, had an amazing time helping prepare the Pillow Pets at Northview last Saturday. She didn’t expect the large turnout of people, which numbered about 262. The energy and excitement of the event was really astounding, she said.
“There were so many people on one task, but I was impressed with how well things flowed,” Christy said. “It was organized chaos. People jumped in where needed.”
Christy was helping to stuff boxes. She was really surprised at the unexpected workout, as she used every muscle in her body to stuff those Pillow Pets in boxes and wait until someone came and taped the box close. “Hands down, it was the most intense workout I’ve had since I was in marathon training,” she said. But it was so worth it.
“The reward on the way home was listening to my children talk about how excited they were to do something so nice for other kids,” Christy said. “They were praying blessings over the Pillow Pets and the children they would be shipped to, as they were working right along with us. I was exhausted, but my heart was so full. This will be a great family memory that we will cherish for years to come. Thank you, Northview, for allowing us to be a part of it.”
K-LOVE donated all the Pillow Pets and approached Northview about helping out. It was a great way for us to honor Jake and to also serve our community and the nation through the Super Bowl.
To read more about Jake and his Pillow Pets dream, please view these previous Northview Blog stories:by