In ‘Lou’ of Gifts: Mother-son duo hold toy drive

Mother, son hold toy drive for Mt. Hope Family Center

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Do you remember how old you were when you learned the true meaning of Christmas? One East Rochester family is teaching their little boy the importance of giving to others; and this lesson has extra meaning.

Little Louie and his mother Lindsay Jewett have been going to the Mount Hope Family Center for over a year now. The center serves families with children who have experienced violence, abuse or neglect. Three-year-old Louie had a rough start in life. He was adopted by his foster mom Lindsay, just before his second birthday.

Now he’s learning the beauty in giving back, by helping run a special toy drive, “In Lou of Gifts,” for the center.

“He has a lot of medical complexities, a lot of needs, a lot of trauma even though he was in NICU for short time, foster care for short time,” said mom Lindsay Jewett. “A lot of trauma had ensued prior to him coming to me.”

Jewett said the challenges made her realize all the help and guidance that’s been available. Some of the help has come from the Mount Hope Family Center, where the family started working one-on-one with Maureen Boorum.

“I’ve seen both Lindsay and Louie, over the course of us working together, blossom, in terms of Louie’s ability to regulate himself, and mom’s ability to help him regulate,” said Boorum.

Jewett said the support made her want to give back, all while bonding with Louie. The two wanted to hold a toy drive when they noticed the center could use some new ones.

“So anytime someone made a donation to us, Louie and I would go to the store together, and I’d explain that toys are going to kids that don’t have toys, toys are here to help Miss Moreen,” said Jewett. “He may not fully understand, he does have some delays, he’s also 3 and a half, and it’s also his first real Christmas that he’s understanding.”

It’s also about raising awareness.

“Parenting is really hard, there are services available for them,” said Jewett. “I think that I’ve told people about it and they’re now coming here. And they’re now coming here.”

“Yes, it’s giving back to us, but it’s also giving back to all the kids and families who come in here,” said Boorum. “They’re gonna have these beautiful nice new toys, and so I’m so thankful for not only that but also to have the donation come from someone who has worked with us.”

Some of the toys Jewett and Louie donated are fidget toys, doctor kits, play food, and Barbies, and they’ll no doubt be very appreciated by the kids.