SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Multimedia

January 21, 2011

Little wheels, big hearts

Hospital collects toys to send to Iraq in soldier's memory

BEVERLY — Over the last month, a conference room inside Beverly Hospital has steadily been transformed into a storage facility for thousands of toy cars.

Yesterday afternoon, as many as 20 employees of Beverly Hospital and its satellite hospital in Danvers were painting little hearts and the letter "J" on the roughly 3,200 donated Matchbox, Hot Wheels and other metal cars.

The "J" stands for Sgt. Jordan Shay of Amesbury, who was killed in action in 2009 while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq. A 2005 graduate of Amesbury High School, Shay was a specialist in the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, based in Fort Lewis, Wash. He was killed Sept. 2, 2009, when the armored truck he was riding in overturned. Another soldier, Army Sgt. Todd Selge, 25, of Burnsville, Minn., was also killed in the accident.

Shay's mother, Holly, of Newburyport, said one of her son's last requests was that she send him small toy cars to hand out to children in Iraq.

Holly Shay said her son explained that even a small gesture like a toy car or a pack of chewing gum went a long way toward bridging the gap between soldiers and civilians, especially young children.

Jordan Shay was killed before he received the first batch of cars from his mother.

A few months after her son's death, Holly Shay's co-workers at Hospice of the North Shore organized a toy-car drive called Little Wheels of Tribute. They set up boxes in several Danversbank locations and collected thousands of cars in late 2009.

"I just thought it was the best thing ever," Holly Shay said.

Now, a second mass shipment containing thousands of toy cars is being prepared to be sent to the front lines in memory of Jordan Shay.

Once Beverly Hospital employees paint the cars, they will be packed into at least 100 military-marked boxes provided by Operation Troop Support of Danvers, which will ship them to Iraq and Afghanistan, said Gerald Mackillop, community relations director at Beverly Hospital.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Multimedia

Videos
Slide Shows

AP Video: Editors Picks
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
AP Video: World News
Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Today in History for April 18th Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Today in History for April 17th Egypt Clamps Down on Mosques to Control Message After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power Pope's Relic on Wheels Departs to Rome Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo
AP Video: National News
Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Raw: Urinator Causes Portland to Flush Reservoir Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston
AP Video: Entertainment
Adam Levine Launches Clothing Line for Women Paul Wesley Sinks His Teeth Into Directing Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Josh Thompson Streams Album to Hook New Fans Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast ShowBiz Minute: Singer, Young, Poehler Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Nas Movie Opens Tribeca Film Festival Zooey Deschanel Adds Designing to Her Repertoire Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show 'Half of a Yellow Sun' Hits the Big Screen Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Swift's Bus Drives Into Country Hall of Fame ShowBiz Minute: Cyrus, Walker, Combs Pedro Pascal Plays 'Game of Thrones'' Red Viper Deeley Shows Acting Chops in Hulu's 'Deadbeat' Ora Strips Efron at MTV Awards ShowBiz Minute: MTV Awards, Lopez, Royals Stars Hit Red Carpet for MTV Movie Awards Conan Backs Colbert, Hosts MTV Movie Awards
Local News
  • Superior officers still without a contract

    BEVERLY -- Contract negotiations between the city and the Beverly Police Superior Officers Association remain at an impasse nearly three years after their last agreement expired. The two sides have met with a mediator several times, including last Fr

    April 18, 2014

  • Lederman decides against vying for school board seat

    MARBLEHEAD -- Controversial former school board member Jonathan Lederman has decided to abandon his quest to regain a seat on the committee. "I was -- for the record -- a reluctant candidate," he said. But he feels that on the heels of announcing hi

    April 18, 2014

  • Danvers won't have farmers market this year

    DANVERS -- The Rotary Club has withdrawn its proposal to open a farmers market downtown, saying the idea needs more time to take root. Instead, they hope to return to selectmen next year with a more comprehensive plan. "It wasn't an easy decision by

    April 18, 2014

  • North Shore residents to run in 2014 Boston Marathon

    The Salem News asked those on the North Shore who are running this year's Boston Marathon to share their reasons for running. 

    If you're running the marathon this year, it's not too late to share why you're running. Send a brief paragraph, a photo of yourself and a link to your fundraising site (if applicable) to Cheryl Richardson at crichardson@salemnews.com.

    April 17, 2014

  • chesskid Brace yourself, 'Salem' is now a TV show SALEM -- Ready or not, here comes "Salem." On Sunday night at 10, WGN American will debut its new series about the Salem Witch Trials, an attempt by a largely regional cable station to grab a national audience. The show has been much ballyhooed as th

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos