Mitzvot from the Heart: Andrew Mannis

Andrew Mannis

Andrew Mannis

Congregation Shaare Emeth

When Andrew hears of any child who is sick, it touches him in a special way. He wanted to make a difference in the lives of those with cancer for his mitzvah project. 

Son of Jill and Scott Mannis of Chesterfield, Andrew donated “Buckets of Love” through Friends of Kids with Cancer. He chose this organization because his family has known two kids who used their services; one who beat the disease and one who did not. Friends of Kids with Cancer is devoted to enriching the daily lives of children undergoing treatment for — and survivors of — cancer and blood-related diseases.

Andrew collected new toys and games donated by friends and family to fill buckets. These, in turn, were given to children entering the hospitals or treatment centers for chemotherapy. He wrote a personal note that was attached to each bucket, wishing them well in their treatment and a speedy recovery.

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While Friends of Kids with Cancer provided the buckets, Andrew held a collection day at his house where dozens of friends came to deliver dozens of toys and games. It was more than he could have imagined. Among the items donated were games, art activities, cosmetics, jewelry, cars, puzzles, and dolls. Andrew collected hundreds of small items and filled 22 buckets. His mother then had them beautifully wrapped at Hi Ho Helio in Creve Coeur and used them as centerpieces at his kiddush luncheon. 

A student at Parkway Central Middle School, Andrew was overwhelmed at the response and the number of donations. He was touched by his friends who came forward to help. “I was so happy to be able to make a sick child happy,” he said. 

Andrew wished he could have personally delivered the buckets to each child but health information privacy laws prevented him from making contact with the recipients. Just knowing that he could put a smile on the face of a little girl or boy who is having a bad day or is scared in the hospital made Andrew very happy.