What all began at an
Applebee's Restaurant among a small group of friends has grown to help
change the world for a large number of children and teens.
In December, 2006 a group of regulars at the Lake Oswego, Oregon
Applebee's decided, rather than exchanging holiday gifts between each
other, to purchase a toy that would be donated to the Shriners Hospitals
The thoughtfulness caught on and now many Applebee's throughout Oregon
display Christmas trees with tags encouraging patrons to donate a toy
during the holiday season to the patients of the Shriners Hospitals for
Children-Portland. This event grew in size and has now been officially
named as "Bringing in Joy from the Neighborhood".
It was during a trip to Applebee's in Happy Valley, Oregon that the 11
year old girls, named Emma Anderson and Halie Byzewski were inspired by
the restaurant's holiday tree festively displayed with donation
The girls came up with the idea to save up their money to buy toys to
donate as part of the giving event. The two ambitious 5th graders saved
up money from babysitting and other chores and purchased several toys,
more than $70 worth. "It felt good to help kids who would not be home
for Christmas have a present." The act of kindness has caught on and the
two plan to keep on saving money and giving back.