HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — When a father put out a reward to help find a missing Elmo doll for his severely autistic and disabled son, many in the community have been donating Elmo dolls, including a local retirement village.
It all started in June with a plea from Michael’s father after his baby Elmo went missing in Hot Springs. After that, the donation of Elmo dolls started pouring in.
“And next thing I know we got this overpouring of people wanting to donate Elmos,” Michael’s dad Chris Westbrook said.
Michael, with a big heart, decided he wanted to donate them all to Children’s Hospital.
“Baby Elmo has been with Michael for multiple surgeries at Children’s Hospital since he was 2,” Westbrook explained.
It didn’t stop there. A local retirement community, Country Club Village in Hot Springs, heard about Michael’s missing Elmo and started a donation drive of their own.
“Oh I think it’s wonderful, it’s a great cause and Michael is an absolute doll. To support him means a lot,” said Mary Becker, a resident at Country Club Village.
The residents all chipped in to buy the dolls they knew would make an impact.
“I think the little Elmo will be a big help – they’ll have someone to hold and love,” added Country Club Village resident Patsy Powers.
This week, they brought the Elmo dolls to Michael, a touching and emotional moment.
“It just lets you know people in your community care about your efforts and care about what’s going on – for them to do that it’s awesome,” Westbrook said.
During a difficult time for so many – a moment of joy for a little boy – and many who helped him.
“It made them feel really good. It was really nice to be able to do something for the kids,” said Star Longinotti, Country Club Village Life Enrichment Director.
If you would like to donate – you can send a new Elmo doll to 104 Rolling Acres Drive, Pearcy Arkansas, 71964.