Special delivery! Alana’s Gift 2016 a wonderful success

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Kyle Prettyman and Alexalynn Shoultes celebrate as the U-Haul is packed and ready for the Alana’s Gift delivery to A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House.

OCEAN VIEW – Alexalynn Shoultes and Kyle Prettyman know all about the challenges when confronted by serious childhood illness.

So in honor and memory of their daughter, Alana Rose Prettyman, they are dedicated to making life a bit easier and enjoyable for kids at A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital and their families.

Wednesday was delivery day in the second edition of Alana’s Gift – a massive collection drive that spanned the spectrum of donations from individuals, friends and local businesses.

A U-Haul loaded with practically everything an ill child and family members might need made its way from the couple’s Ocean View/Frankford apartment to the hospital in Wilmington and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Delaware.

Household goods, toys, Barbie dolls, toiletries, snacks, coloring books, crafts supplies, books, paint, air freshener, Tupperware, handmade pillow cases, journals, diaries, sticker pads, pacifiers, bottles, chew toys, soap and a bounty of gift cards were just a fraction of the items delivered.

“Cleaning supplies, I would say tripled from last year. I would honestly say I think they’ll have enough Lysol wipes to last them all year,” said Ms. Shoultes. “And if we can provide them Lysol wipes for all year, that’s great.”

The special delivery included an Xbox with a bunch of games and several educational/learning-based toys, which Ms. Shoultes says provide multiple benefit.

“Coloring books of course keep them busy but these have some sort of therapeutic and developmental benefit,” she said.

Young children from Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church in Ocean View made handmade “Get Well” cards, featuring their favorite Bible verses.

“It’s from one kid to another. These kids don’t know them, but they are thinking of them,” said Ms. Shoultes. “This is going to change a child’s life one morning. How wonderful.”

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Alana Rose Prettyman

This was the second year for Alana’s Gift. Ms. Shoultes has pledged to hold it every year in remembrance of daughter Alana, who was born Sept. 14, 2014 and passed away Dec. 16, 2015 from an extremely rare neurological/hereditary disorder.

“We collect the month of the September in honor of her birthday,” Ms. Shoultes said.

Alana was hospitalized at A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital for several months after she was diagnosed with the genetic disorder.

An arm of The Alana Rose Foundation, the mission of Alana’s Gift is to help families “stay family strong” and make children and families smile while they are in the hospital.

Donations to Ronald McDonald House allow the house to remain well-supplied and keep families close during their extended stays “home away from home.”

Ms. Shoultes said she is truly in awe of both the quantity and quality of donations this year from a caring, supportive community.

“Alana’s Gift 2016 has been a wonderful success!” Ms. Shoultes said in a Facebook post. “We filled the U-Haul! The community we live in is a miracle and are blessing all of these children and families. A.I duPont’s Child Life Program and The Ronald McDonald House will be thankful for all of these gifts and will put them to direct use. This community should be proud, because you are part of this miracle!”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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