Watch CBS News

Holiday Toy Drive Honors Memory Of Young Girl Who Lost Battle With Cancer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Law enforcement from all over the Delaware Valley helped honor the life of a little girl who wanted to bring a smile to her sick friends at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Police officers from Philadelphia, Ridley Township, and surrounding suburbs led a truck full of toys to the doors of CHOP's Seashore House.

From dolls and Crayola light boards to dinosaurs and Monopoly, volunteers and hospital staff unloaded the gifts down an assembly line and into a large crate, which was then rolled into the hospital.

"Jillian was diagnosed with brain cancer back in April of 2016," said her father, James Massey.

Massey says his daughter, whose nickname was "Sassy Massey," started this effort last year.

"For us, this is what Christmas is about. It's about helping others and Jillian. All she wanted to do was make sure other kids had smiles on their face and had something to open at Christmas," he said. "We started with a modest goal of 50 to 100 toys, so we would be able to cover the kids in the oncology unit here at CHOP, and it progressed into this 3,000 toy / $3,000 worth of gift card outcome."

Jillian died just two weeks ago, but her father says her legacy continues to bring joy to those who need it most.

"It's amazing," Massey said. "We can't put into words how grateful and thankful we are for everyone who donated a toy, who got behind Jillian's cause."

In all, 24,000 toys were donated - and will be given to 10 different children's hospitals all over the area.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.