Number of Participants: 1
Hours Donated: 20
Value of Time Served: $169
Event Type: Children & Youth
Date: December 1, 2021
Franklin High School
Oak Street, Franklin
Ten years ago, Mason Roddy was in the drive of his life against a challenging adversary: cancer.
Now he’s putting his efforts to work on the football field, as a member of the Franklin High School football team. But he’s never forgotten the team that helped see him through his cancer fight. Nor has he forgotten the little acts of kindness — the gifts and well wishes from strangers — that made the fight a little easier.
As a way of giving back, Mason and his family have been running a gift drive to help make the holidays brighter for young cancer patients at Tufts Children’s Hospital.
The fourth annual Toys for Tufts in honor of Mason Roddy is underway and runs through Dec. 8. The campaign is collecting unwrapped, boxed gifts and gift cards.
“We chose to wrap the drive up on Dec. 8, as it will mark 10 years since Mason’s diagnosis,” said Paetra Ranieri, Mason’s mom. “It’s really hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years since that day. Delivering gifts to Tufts on this day will be a special way for us to give back and help provide a little joy to those in need of it the most.”
Helping to support the effort, besides Mason’s family, are several of Franklin’s schools and a local hair salon.
“Last year we had three schools lean in and embrace Toys for Tufts: Helen Keller Elementary, Annie Sullivan Middle School and Franklin High School,” Ranieri said.
The staff and Community Club at Franklin High School, where Mason is a sophomore, “were a big help last year with the drive and are continuing to offer the same support this year.”
Joining the effort this year are Hair Mania in Franklin, Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, where Mason’s brother, William is a senior; and Burke-Memorial Elementary School in Medway, where his “step brothers,” Nolan and Wes, are students.
Ranieri said Hair Mania owner Maria Giorgio, a good friend, didn’t hesitate to join the team when asked if she would be interested. And Sarah Hickey, the school nurse at Tri-County, saw a Facebook post regarding the drive and asked if Tri-County could get involved. Tri-County’s student council is helping organize the effort.
Ranieri gives a lot of credit and gratitude to Tricia Constantine, a teacher at Helen Keller Elementary who has played an instrumental role in the drive’s success from the beginning.
“Tricia helps to get the drive up and running. We couldn’t do it without her support and the support from the rest of the staff and student council at Keller and Annie Sullivan,” she said.
When Mason was first diagnosed, he spent weeks as an in-patient in the Cam Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.
“He also ended up back in PBMT a few times during his three-plus years of treatment,” Ranieri said. “The gifts he would receive during these times helped greatly to put a smile on his face.”
In the years since then, she noted, “its become clear that there’s a great need to help not just the patients, but their families as well.”
Last year the hospital provided them with the ages of patients who would most likely remain in-patient over the holidays, as well as their family members.
“This allowed us to put together individualized gift bags that provided the families with a little extra,” she said. “It was incredible and only made possible because of the generosity shown from our community, family and friends.”
Anyone wishing to contribute can drop off unwrapped gifts at Hair Mania Salon, 20 West Central St, Franklin, or at 65 Pleasant St. or 8 Brook St. in Franklin.
Members of the school community can drop off gifts in the lobbies of the participating schools; gift cards can be left with their office staff.
Following are wish lists for the Hematology & Oncology Clinic at Tufts Children’s Hospital.
Teens: Sports apparel(Bruin’s Red Sox, Patriots, Revolution, Celtics), gift cards in anydenomination(Starbucks, Dunkin, Visa/Mastercard, Target, Itunes, Walmart, Amazon,CVS, Michael Arts & Crafts, etc.), playing cards, movie tickets, stress balls, cozysocks/slippers/blankets, hats, art kits, adult coloring books, paint by number activities,word search books, colored pencils, gel pens, pop sockets, paint markers, insulatedcoffee cups/water bottles/ journals, art canvas, lava lamps, paint supplies, LED lights,photo clip string lights, tea light candles/candles, mason jars, sleeping masks, makeupkits, lotions/shower gel, toiletry kits, posters, etc.
Arts & Crafts: Glue, glue sticks, glitter, paints (acrylic), colored pencils, construction paper, paint brushes,crayons, canvas boards, velvet art kits, paintable ceramic & wooden figures, colored duct tape,wooden model kits, paper airplane kits, rock painting kits, yarn, etc.
Infants & Toddlers: Pop-ups, rattles, sensory toys, Sassy infant toys, FP glow seahorse, Little People,activity cubes, etc.
Distraction Toys: Bubbles/Mini No-spill tumblers,ISpybooks, pop-its,fidget spinners, light up spinners, stressballs, tomy water games, etc.
DVD’s & Video games: New releases for older children and young adults,Disney/Pixar,classic adventure movies. Nintendo, Xbox & Playstation games. Gift cards for Nintendo, Xbox,Playstation, Steam Google Play, etc.
Games: Regular playing cards, Uno, Spot It, Monopoly Deals, Jenga, etc.
Toys: LEGOsets, Nerf balls, Colorforms, Action figures,Magna-TilesPaw Patrol, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse, Barbie, PJ Masks, Imagenex houses, etc.
Electronics: DVD disc players (Samsung disc Blu Ray BD-JM57C) headphones, earbuds, video gamecontrollers, led lights, bluetooth speakers, etc.
Treasure Chest items (given to patients for various reasons such as a birthday, procedure or chemo): Small prizes/gifts such as stickers, matchbox cars, socks, coloring books, small crafts, pop-its, gift cards in smaller denominations ($5,$10 & $15) A.C. Moore, GameStop, Target, Amazon, Dunkin,Starbucks, GAP, Old Navy, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Burger King, Wendy’s, iTunes, Netflix, etc.
Miscellaneous: Bedding – Boston sports teams & character (Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, etc) XL TWIN SIZE sheetsets, batteries (all sizes), disposable cameras, microwave popcorn, birthday wrapping paper,birthday gift bags.Gift cards for gas, grocery stores, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc.Please, no large ride on toys or stuffed animals
To see a list of specific wishes on Amazon, visit: tinyurl.com/toys4tuftsamazonlist