Area Teen Delivers More Than 1,000 Gifts to Jefferson Health New Jersey Patients in Honor of Late Brother
DJ Alexis, a 17-year-old high school student from Sicklerville, NJ, came to Jefferson
Washington Township Hospital on December 23rd — along with his parents and several friends — to deliver toys and books for young patients in the ED, Women’s and Children’s, and Pediatric units, as well as kids and teens who receive care through Jefferson’s New Jersey-based Behavioral Health program.
This is the eighth year DJ has held his toy drive in memory of his newborn brother, Emanuel, who died at the hospital during the holiday season in 2006. DJ’s efforts this year resulted in his largest donation day yet — a combined 1,350 toys and books, after a months-long toy drive that pooled the efforts of friends, schoolmates, family members, and area businesses.
Also this year, DJ donated $200 to support a library he started, also in his late brother’s memory, located at Jefferson’s Behavioral Health and Pediatric hospital-based units respectively in Cherry Hill and Washington Township.
“DJ worked hard preparing for the festivities,” said his mom, Lesli. “He has had donation boxes at local businesses from Delaware and Pennsylvania, from Deptford to Cherry Hill. He has also received tremendous support from his high school, The Tatnall School in Wilmington, DE, and his alma mater, Friends School Mullica Hill.”
DJ’s toy drive season peaked with an annual wrapping party, where the donated gifts were wrapped by family and friends of all ages. DJ also coordinated handmade greeting cards that were distributed to all of the patients.
Shown, from right, are: DJ’s aunt, Lakesia Anderson; John Graham, Chief Administrative Officer, Jefferson Washington Township Hospital; DJ Alexis; and his “elf” friends, who helped deliver the gifts to pediatric patients.