Lunchbox Love project donates over 2,000 lunch boxes to Niswonger patients

Brandon Paykamian • Updated Nov 4, 2017 at 10:55 AM

Four years after receiving a donated blanket while their baby was treated for cancer, a local family touched by the gift continues to pay it forward to help other children cope with illnesses.

At 8 months old, Briggs Goforth began a six-month battle against cancer.

While receiving care at Johnson City’s Niswonger Children’s Hospital, he received a donated blanket.

Because of the donation, Briggs’ family was inspired to start a charity of their own. Since then, the Goforths have donated lunch boxes full of items like coloring books and crayons for the kids at the hospital.

Each year, near his birthday on Nov. 5, his family spends eight weeks collecting items and delivers the lunch boxes to Niswonger. Now that Briggs is healthy again, he and his family have been focusing on helping other children at the hospital, many of whom are going through the same struggles as Briggs.

“We’re doing this for the little kids that are sick,” Briggs said of the annual donation.

“In 2013, when Briggs was diagnosed with cancer, we knew we wanted to do something to give back to those that have helped us and gotten us through many dark days,” said his mother, Tiffany Goforth. “So we started the Lunchbox Love project, and we’ve donated lunch boxes every year to Niswonger Children’s Hospital on Briggs’ birthday, celebrating another cancer-free year.

“We start collecting them at the first of September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and we collect them for about eight weeks.”

This year, for Briggs’ fifth birthday, the Goforths received a record 625 lunch boxes to donate to the hospital Friday. Since starting the campaign, they’ve donated more than 2,000 lunch boxes, far surpassing their original projections.

“We look forward to it every year,” Niswonger Child Life Manager Amanda Ward said. “It’s so special to the kids and the parents as well.”

Ward said the donations help boost the morale of the pediatric patients at Niswonger.

“We highly depend on our community members to provide these types of items, and we have been blessed,” Ward said. “We would not be able to do the types of things we do without these donations.”

For more information on donating to the Niswonger Children’s Hospital’s wishlist, visit www.niswongerchildrens.org

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