'Cards by Colton' - Brookhaven second grader makes get well cards for kids at Stony Brook Children's Hospital

When Colton Leest's art teacher heard about the plan, she decided to make it a class project to get other students involved in spreading healing vibes through kindness.

May 11, 2023, 12:00 PM

Updated 341 days ago

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A 7-year-old Brookhaven boy spent his Wednesday delivering get well cards to young patients battling life-threatening illnesses at Stony Brook Children's Hospital.
Colton Leest says his inspiration to make the 218 greeting cards came from someone who means a lot to him.
"I have a brother named Ethan and he has disabilities, that he cannot do some stuff that others can do," Leest says. "So, I was like, 'Maybe I can make cards for everyone to put smiles on everyone's faces.'"
Ethan was born with a rare genetic epilepsy. The boys' mother, Jessica Leest, says Ethan's ailment has deepened Colton Leest's sense of empathy.
"He sometimes makes pictures to put on his bed, anything he can do to make Ethan smile," Jessica Leest says. "And he said, 'Hey Mom, I really want to make other kids smile also. Do you think we can do something to make other kids smile?'"
The second grader's idea launched "Cards by Colton."
When Colton Leest's art teacher heard about the plan, she decided to make it a class project to get other students involved in spreading healing vibes through kindness.
"What's so inspiring is that he is only seven years old, and he has such a compassionate soul and to have compassion for other people at his age is really rare," says Gianna Maccarino, Brookhaven Elementary art teacher.
Doctors say Colton Leest and his classmates' cards will make a difference for children in the hospital.
Colton Leest says he hopes "Cards by Colton" will be an annual project to benefit Stony Brook Children's Hospital.


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