Toy Fund generosity honored, as ever, in verse
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, by tradition, we close our series of stories on this year’s Sidney F. Smith Toy Fund campaign with a bit of verse.
Hurtling toward Christmas, we try to avoid the Scrooges and the Grinches;
Within ourselves, we try to ignite the Glindas and Atticus Finches.
On Christmas Eve, we settle down and revel in the myth
That includes a host of characters, among them Sidney F. Smith.
A newspaper employee was Sidney F. Smith, a man of modest ambition —
Did he know his wish for kids would start an immortal new tradition?
In nineteen hundred and thirty-three, from Sidney’s inspiration,
The Toy Fund began giving vouchers from area donations.
Now kids from age 14 right down to one will find presents under the tree;
Neighbors, friends and merchants have shown generosity.
Let’s take a look at a few of the folks who are filling this year’s till;
Some are anonymous, some dedicated; all give the gift of good will.
Mom, Dad and Patsy remember their Michael; Donna, her sister Sue;
Zack and Lauren are thinking of Grammy, and Grampy Kennedy, too.
Many folks memorialize the people they’ve known who loved kids,
Like Peggy Sullivan, Jack Capelas, and Lisa Garcia-Twigg.
An especially poignant memorial that reached the editor’s desk
Is for those who died in Newtown, from Lin and Tucker Respess.
Mark and Tina Oliver remember Ryan, their son;
Mom remembers Jan Miller, another kind, child-loving one.
The late Florence Haas loved all children, an anonymous writer has penned;
Grandpa’s memory produces an EEEEEE! from grandchild Beth Honeyman.
Peg & Chet, Barbara Kirouac, Phil and Alice Kelley,
All remember loved ones, as do Jack and Shellie.
As dedications pour in with money, grief is mixed with generosity;
Even pets are memorialized, as with Sandy’s Bijou and Kitty.
A long elegy, including “good egg,” has been written about Heather Quinn;
There are multiple people named with donations from John and Shelley Schieffelin.
Loved ones in our memories are strong this time of year,
But let us not forget to honor those who are still here.
Kathy Lawler and Carol Varsano, Toy Fund volunteers;
The English Muffin Ladies have also been revered.
One donation honors people serving overseas;
Another honors Kate Cook Scott, recovering from disease.
The staffs of Maple and Jackson Street Schools are named with adulation;
Max, Henry and Sophie Wassarman also get admiration.
The Middletons honor their progeny; the Swiders, Marcella and Don;
“Happy Holidays,” says the Reis family, as donations go on and on.
Employees from Florence Savings Bank and from Stevens Urethane;
Librarians from Smith College; a Lion complete with a mane!
The list goes on from day to day — indeed, from year to year
Of people giving from their hearts to others needing cheer.
As generous people everywhere and Sidney Smith attest,
As we give we also receive, so all of us are blest.