When the little girl was asked how she was able to get so much money, her reply was simple. She said, “I just hold a sign.”
What would you do if your young daughter came home with wads of cash amounting to thousands of dollars after standing on a busy street corner with a sign all day? If you are the parents of Addie Bryan, you give her a huge hug and a big pat on the back for a job well done.
Born with a rare bone disorder called Larsen Syndrome which contorted her legs and made her knees unable to bend, Addie received years of extensive — and free — medical help at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Thanks to the work of the good doctors there, she has surpassed everyone’s wildest expectations and can now not only walk but run.
When Addie’s birthday was approaching, she knew what she wanted more than anything in the world: to give back to the wonderful hospital which had given her so much. She spent days on end at the corner of her street holding a sign asking for donations. Her ultimate goal was to raise $8,000 for the hospital which had changed her life. “I just hold a sign that says, ‘For my birthday, I want to raise $8,000 for Scottish Rite Hospital,” Addie told USA TODAY.
When the media got wind of Addie’s giving spirit, her efforts were catapulted into something much bigger than she ever expected. She made national headlines when People Magazine picked up her story. Immediately, donations from far and wide began to pour in. Even people from other countries heard Addie’s story and sent in money for her hospital. All in all, she was able to collect $19,500, far surpassing her initial goal. “I thought, ‘Wow, that is a lot of money,’” Addie recounted. But little did she know, that wasn’t even the half of it.
Before long, Scottish Rite Hospital Vice President of Development Stephanie Brigger received a letter in the mail with a check. The unnamed sender was so impressed with Addie’s gratitude, they sent $50,000 in her name. “I am almost speechless because I am the one who opened it,” said Brigger. “The anonymous donor wrote about seeing Addie and the pictures of her and then seeing her running. That’s a lot of casts and a lot of prosthetic devices,” Brigger added. “Every little bit and big amounts help us do what we do.”
Even though her efforts resulted in nearly $70,000 for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, which relies upon donations for the good work that they do, Addie remained humble. “I think all the kids are going to be happy, and they can get out of the hospital faster,” she said.
We can all learn something from little Addie’s inspiring story. She is making the world a better place through her generosity and kind spirit, and her efforts will end up touching the lives of countless other children who so desperately need the help provided by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
This is a wonderful reminder that we can all do more good than we even know just by making a small effort to help others. Addie Bryan never dreamed that by standing on the corner of her street with a homemade sign she would ultimately change the lives of so many other children just like her. Please share this story to inspire others to do whatever they can to enact positive change in their communities. If we were all as charitable as Addie Bryan, the world would be a much brighter place.