“Keaton was the light of our family,”; A donation tradition continues
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Stuhr family started collecting gifts for families in the hospital three years ago. It was a tradition that started because of their son Keaton.
“Keaton was the light of our family,” said Lindsey Stuhr, Keaton’s mom.
But it’s also a holiday tradition that will feel different this year. Keaton died just days after Christmas in 2021, but the Stuhrs are determined to make sure other families in the hospital feel loved.
In six different locations throughout the city, you’ll find trees with twinkling lights, and Paw Patrol wrapping. All a reminder of Keaton.
“This is one way that we can give back to bring a little cheer to families that are in the hospital for the holidays,” Lindsey said.
The Sturhs have been running the ‘Giving Tree’ collection for three years, this is the first without Keaton who died from Phelan McDermid Syndrome at the age of eight.
“I was really hesitant, didn’t want to do it,” Lindsey said. “Just kind of wanted to skip over the holidays. And McKenna was just like ‘No mom, we have to do this, Keaton would want us to do this,” Lindsey said.
Keaton’s sister insisted they keep the gift collection going. They donate presents and Scooters gift cards to the Child Life team at Children’s in Omaha. To give the kids in the hospital and their families, providing a toy to brighten a sick child’s day or a cup of coffee to give mom or dad a boost.
Lindsey said their family knows what it’s like to spend the holidays or a birthday in a hospital room. They were once recipients of Child Life gifts while staying there for Keaton.
“It was so heart filling,” Lindsey said. “I remember Child Life was walking around with a wagon full of stuffed animals and books and they not only give to the patient but they would also give to the siblings too.”
This year Lindsey hopes to collect 1,000 gifts and gift cards. Each donation is a little reminder of her little boy and the big light he was in her life.
“This morning I took a picture by his stocking and I was just, you know, super happy and excited to be able to speak his name and have people remember what a sweet boy that he was,” Lindsey.
You can donate presents and gift cards under trees found here:
-Triniti Gymnastics (8335 Cody Drive, Suite H)
-Lincoln Elite Gymnastics (7480 N 56th Street)
-Ehlers Animal Care (6855 South 70th Street)
-College of Hair Design East (900 Andermatt Drive)
-Next Level Nutrition (5400 South 56th, Suite 15A)
-Frontier Pediatric Care (1540 South 70th, Suite 101)
You can donate gifts until end-of-business on December 12th.
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