RAVENSWOOD - Walking into the fellowship hall of North United Methodist Church, one could see birthday decorations and balloons along with the typical party favors. All around the facility children were running around having a good time. At first glance, it seemed like a regular birthday party.
However after taking a good look around, there are pictures of friends and family members and piles of hats where wrapped gifts should be.
Jaylyn Pepper surprised the adults in her family when she requested that no one bring presents to her 9th birthday party. All that the birthday girl wanted was hats to collect and give to those with cancer.
Said Jaylyn’s, grandmother, Rita Pepper, “I had said to her ‘That’s great, but I can get something for you as well’ and she said ‘No grandma. What ever you are going to get, get it for the other kids. I was amazed. And so there it was. She’s always had a caring heart and a giving spirit. But we are all amazed.”
Jaylyn has many relatives and friends that have had cancer, some who beat the disease and others who succumbed to it.
Said Jaylyn, “I wanted toboggans, hats and scarves. I want to help cancer patients.”
The youngster stated that she had already received some hats, but there were too many to count. She explained what would happen with the hats once they were all collected.
“We will take them to the cancer center, in Charleston,” said Jaylyn.
Jaylyn’s mother stated that she was surprised at her daughter’s request. She further stated that these were the values that had been instilled in the child.
“We’ve always said that it is just as important to give than to receive. It’s nice for her to come to me, instead of me coming to her with the suggestion. It was a really, really good thing. It surprised me and I’m proud of her.”