Severn River Middle student helps hospitalized children with positive diversions

Emma Wilson, an 11-year-old Severn River Middle School student, stuffs bags for kids in the hospital.
Emma Wilson, an 11-year-old Severn River Middle School student, stuffs bags for kids in the hospital. (Melissa Harmina Wilson / HANDOUT)

Emma Wilson sits in her sunroom surrounded by bright orange bags. Boxes of playing cards, stickers, coloring books and toys fill the room.

Emma, 11, is a sixth-grader at Severn River Middle School who decided she wanted to do something for kids who are admitted to the hospital, so that “it wouldn’t be so boring for them.”


With the help of her mother, Melissa Harmina Wilson, Children’s Helping Hands was born. Emma and her mom fill bags with small toys and activities such as playing cards, crayons, and drawing pads, that are given to children when they are admitted to one of the area hospitals.

Many of the children admitted to hospitals can’t go to the play areas due to possible medical complications or infection. Anything that can keep their mind occupied is a welcome diversion.


Children’s Helping Hands is gearing up to make their second delivery in six months. The last delivery encompassed hundreds of bags given to four area hospitals.

Wilson networks with organizations such as Childlife at Johns Hopkins and other hospitals, to determine if there is a need for the bags. There are different bags for children under age three than the ones for older kids due to safety implications.

At this time, Emma has lots of bags to fill, and is in search of the following donations: small toys and games such as those you might find in a kid’s meal, books or stickers. There is also a need for transporters, if anyone can deliver the bags to area hospitals, as well as printing for cards to go in the bags.

Those interested in volunteering should join the Facebook group listed above, and/or send a private message to the group.

Bingo fundraiser

Knights of Columbus Council #11552 — St. Andrew By the Bay will hold a family-oriented “BOO2 Bingo” event Oct. 13, 6-10:30 p.m. at St. Andrew By the Bay’s upper hall. Twenty games of bingo will be played throughout the evening for prizes of $50-$120, including restaurant gift cards and fun local activities.

There will be costume contests for adults and children for additional prizes. In addition, every guest goes home a door prize winner with a $10 certificate to Maggiano’s Annapolis.

Raffle tickets for five prizes will be sold before and during the event; the winners will be elected at the end of the evening. Prizes include a three-hour boat cruise of downtown Annapolis for six people, an 8-quart programmable Instant Pot, a Mission Escape Room event for eight people, brunch at numerous restaurants, and a 50-50 raffle.

Hot dogs, Papa John’s pizza, and pork BBQ sandwiches will be available for purchase along with drinks and desserts.

BOO2 Bingo! Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets will be sold after Masses at St. Andrew By the Bay Sept. 6-7, 22-23, 29-30 and Oct. 6-7 .

This year, tickets will also be on sale outside Graul’s Cape St. Claire Sept, 29-30 and Oct. 5 and 7.

They can also be purchased at the parish office during normal business hours and online at https://kofc.ticketleap.com/boo. Proceeds benefit the charitable activities of Knights of Columbus Council #11552—St. Andrew By the Bay.

Last year’s BOO Bingo funded the Council’s charitable activities, including 25 stuffed backpacks ($600) for the homeless in Baltimore and Annapolis through Giving Back: Linda’s Legacy and 30 “sweet cases” ($765) to comfort and cheer local foster children through Together We Rise.

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