Greenwood Teenager Giving Back to Children of St. Jude's

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest Nine

GREENWOOD - At just 10-years-old, Hope Brookshire read an article that would have a huge impact on her young life.

"I saw a picture, and I read through it, and she had cancer, so I just broke down and started crying," Hope said.

That story centered on a young girl stricken with cancer at St. Jude Children's Hospital and that article sparked a mission.

"I got the idea to make blankets for them, that way they would always have a reminder that someone out there is thinking of them," Hope said.

And now, four years later, Hope's mission of making 78 blankets for each of the 78 inpatients beds at St. Jude is almost complete.

Over the years, she saved $2,000 of her own money to make this dream a reality.

"Christmas, anytime I got money, birthdays, anything like that," Hope said. "I took care of a bunch of animals."

The blankets are made out of fabric with Hope's favorite colors, camouflage and orange. And each one has an inspirational message embroidered on the front.

"The monogram says 'Hope for the future, it's only a day away.' That means I want the kids to have hope in everything they do," she said. "I want them to be always be thinking that there could be a cure just right around the corner and to never give up on anything."

Hope's mom, Tammy, wasn't too sure about how far her daughter's idea would go, but she says she's proud of Hope's determination to achieve a dream.

"It was one of those things like 'Oh my gosh, this is a lot to do' but she wouldn't stop. She just kept going on and on and on," Tammy said. "And then I thought this is something that she can accomplish. We're very proud of Hope, she's always had a big heart and she has a lot of empathy for people and children."

Tammy said the blankets are a very personal way of giving back.

"You can donate money which is awesome and a wonderful thing to do because that is what's going to be, the cure, but the kids don't see the money. This way they actually have something to hold onto and look at read it each day."

Hope said it's great knowing her goal of bringing joy to kids, when they need it most, is about to pay off and she hopes others will follow her lead.

"I want people to realize that these kids need something to keep them going,"Hope said. "It makes me very happy, I don't want to cry, but it makes me happy that they each get a blanket and that there's people out there for them."