The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 6, 2013

Ashtabula family gives back to the community with toy drive

ASHTABULA — A kind gesture by staff at Akron Children’s Hospital has opened up the flood gates for area children in need.

“In February of 2012, our son Liam, pulled over a pot of soup that had just come off the burner on to his torso,” said Katy Dreier while delivering toys to Homesafe.

“We took him to Trumbull Memorial Hospital where he was flown by helicopter to Akron Childrens Hospital. He was treated over night for second-degree burns and we were able to return home the next day,” she said.

“For two weeks, twice a week, we would return to Akron for checkups and treatments. Each time we returned, the nurses would give Liam a toy to play with and let him keep it,” she said.

The Dreier’s said they were touched by the kind gesture and realized those toys had to come from some place. “That’s when we decided, in honor of his birthday, we would have a barbecue inviting family, friends and co-workers. The admission to the barbecue would be one new unwrapped toy,” she said.

After the summer 2012 event the family donated toys to the hospital. The family recently moved to the Jefferson area and wanted to reach out to an organization that serves kids in Ashtabula County and decided to help Homesafe.

A second event was held this summer with more than 70 people attending or donating toys for the effort, Katy Dreier said. She said The Horseshoe Bar, Jeannie’s Salon and Day Spa, Tri-Son Tents, all of Warren, and Fleming & Billman Funeral Home were instrumental in making the event a success.

“What a wonderful way to give back. This will really help out at Christmas,” said Julie Wood, outreach coordinator for Homesafe. Homesafe is a shelter for people who have suffered domestic violence.

Homesafe Client Manager Judy Moyers said 37 people have lived at the home this year and all will receive an invitation to a Christmas gathering. She said the toys will really help because donations are way down this year.

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