INDIANAPOLIS — August 28, 2015 is Charlotte Grace Reuzenaar’s birthday.
“I called her pants sassy while she was with us because she was a little fighter, so she had some sass,” Charlotte’s mother, Tiffany Reuzenaar, said.
Charlotte was born with Triploidy Syndrome, which means she had a third full set of chromosomes. She lived for nine days and was treated at Riley Hospital for Children.
“[The doctor said] he never saw [a baby with Triploidy] come to term, let alone nine days. So she was quite a small miracle,” Reuzenaar said.
In 2016, Tiffany and her husband Justin wanted to find a way to celebrate Charlotte’s birthday and honor their daughter. They started an annual toy drive to benefit the Riley Cheer Guild. The non-profit organization strives to comfort and comfort patients at Riley Children’s Hospital through a variety of programs, including a toy room.
“I have always said that since [Charlotte’s] not here for us to spoil, that it was kind of the best thing to be able to give to the kids who are at Riley,” Reuzenaar said. “It means a lot to me to be able to do this for her birthday to honor her. “
This year was the seventh birthday toy drive for Riley hosted by the Brownsburg family, which also includes her 5-year-old sister Harper. Thanks to donations from family, friends and the community, 1,052 items and a cash donation of $500 were donated to the Riley Cheer Guild.
Objects filled the Reuzenaar’s living room, and Tiffany said she had to stand on a ladder to be able to take these photos. The donation filled Tiffany and Justin’s vehicles.
“[Seeing it all] can be overwhelming. It’s just a reminder of all the support Justin and I have and Harper, and just, you know, absolute gratitude for everything everyone gives,” Reuzenaar said. “It’s just knowing that you bring some joy to those kids who are in the hospital.”
Harper is able to help her parents buy items for the toy drive.
“She loves it. She had to learn to share in a bit of an unconventional way…in fact, when we did our first liquidation tour, oh my God, she loved wrapping it all up,” Reuzenaar said.
The family plans to continue collecting toys every year. You can contact them through their Facebook page.
The Riley Cheer Guild is still accepting donations, but there are certain guidelines and donation deliveries must be scheduled in advance. For more information on the donation, click here.