LEXINGTON, Ky (WYMT) - Last year, 11-year-old Madyson Lawson decided to give up birthday presents and collect money for Shriner's Hospital for Children in Lexington.
She continued the tradition this year by holding a silent auction at her birthday party back on November first. In total, she raised $1,525 and on Tuesday, she hand-delivered her donation to the facility she has been a patient at for years.
Making another trip through the doors of Shriner's Hospital is nothing new for the Lawson Family. Madyson's mother, Carla, said walking down the familiar halls remind her how much the place has come to feel like home.
"We are on first name basis with most people and you know, it is real comfortable. Everybody is like family," said Carla Lawson.
While Madyson and her family are normally spending their time in exam rooms, this visit to Lexington was different.
"There are kids here that may not be able to pay for all this and the hospital has to find a way to be able to pay and anybody that can give the slightest bit of money can help them out in a big way," said Madyson Lawson.
But everyone in attendance for the donation said there is nothing slight about her donation. In fact, Carla Lawson said it is even more impressive considering last year Madyson focused mainly on collecting things like deodorant and other supplies instead of cash. However, due to the hospital's needs in 2013, she focused entirely on monetary donations this year.
"To have over $1,500 raised, you know, just from one event, shows the support that the community and everyone gave her for it," said Madyson Lawson.
Wanda Rice is a spokeswoman for Shriner's and has known the Lawson family for years. She said it is inspiring to see how much Madyson has matured.
"We get to see the kids grow up and become adults and we get to watch that progression. Madyson's donation is helping not only children where she lives and in the state of Kentucky but in the entire region," said Rice.
It is an accomplishment that is not lost on this 11-year-old.
"The first time you are here, you do not realize how lucky you are. But then once you see these kids that are going through a whole lot harder stuff than you are, you just figure out, 'Hey, I might have a hurt ankle or something, but these kids have it a whole lot worse than I do'," said Madyson Lawson.
The family plans to continue the fundraiser as long as they can.
Staff at Shriner's want to remind you and your family that if you have a child in need of treatment, there is help out there. Even if you can't pay, you will not be denied treatment. To make an appointment, call 1-800-444-8314.
Also, to find out more about Madyson and her fundraiser, you can visit her project's Facebook page. The link is included here.
CORBIN, Ky (WYMT) - Take a trip down memory lane and think back to your favorite birthday party growing up!
What made it so special?
Presents probably had something to do with it, right?
For one Corbin girl, she has found another way to celebrate her big day with no gifts in sight.
As a general rule, kids love presents, especially on their birthdays.
But on Friday night, Madyson Lawson celebrated her's without any.
"Well I pretty much have everything that I want," said Madyson.
She said that was part of her motivation for doing something different and giving back instead of receiving.
A decision her mom, Carla Lawson, is very impressed by.
"Proud is an understatement. You know, when you have somebody that young wanting to do something so selfless, it really shows the true person that they are," said Lawson.
You would not know it by watching her now but Madyson has a joint disorder, which kept her in and out of Shriner's Hospital in Lexington for years.
"Shriner's did so much for me. I just figured as I was there I saw a bunch of kids that needed support and all that. So I just decided to give something back to them," said Madyson.
Starting last year she hatched a plan, raise money in place of presents.
After that decision, Birthday Gift Back was born.
"Overwhelming and kind of like a miracle. I did not think it was going to get that far or anything. I thought it was just going to be a little thing, one year," said Madyson.
But her mother said it has become so much more than just one year.
As friends and family took part in the silent auction at Madyson's party, she stood back with a smile and admired her success.
"If you think you can do it, try. I mean if it fails, try again. But if you do not try, you will never know," said Madyson.
Madyson and her mom will deliver the donations they get later this month to the hospital.
If you would like to donate to her cause, it is not too late.
Visit the link below to see Birthday Gift Back's Facebook page.