Little Drummers create care packages


SAVOY -- The Emma L. Miller Memorial Elementary School is home to Little Drummers, a children's volunteer group that performs charitable works throughout the year.

Over the past month, Little Drummers hosted a donations drive for supplies for "Chemo Care Packages" designed to provide comfort to people going through chemotherapy. Each care package contains a reusable water bottle, and bottle each of Gatorade and coconut water, to help patients stay hydrated. Also included in the packages are lip balm, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, tissues, bags of hard candy and plastic cutlery to help against the "medicine mouth" taste that often occurs with chemotherapy and can be made worse when using metal utensils.

Emma L. Miller Memorial school students, about 40, and staff also brought in donations of gift bags and tissue paper used to wrap everything in a cheerful package. Local crafter, Joan LeQuin, provided two dozen handmade hats for patients to wear as they go through their treatments. Students in kindergarten through grade three decorated cards with words of encouragement, and the fourth- and fifth-graders spent this past Friday morning assembling the care packages.

Fourth-grade student, Mace Donahue, who created Little Drummers almost five years ago, chose the Chemo Care Package project in honor of his grandfather and his great-grandfather, who are both battling cancer. Both went through chemotherapy earlier this year.

"My Gramps (Nelson Harris from Savoy) and my Bumpa (great-grandfather Henry Totter from New York) are the kind of guys who are always helping everybody. They're always there for us," said Donahue. "I just wanted to pass that on by helping others."

Together, the students and staff made and delivered 20 Chemo Care Packages on Friday to Berkshire Hematology Oncology in Pittsfield. Donations were also made by several members of the Friends of the Adams Free Library.

"The staff at BHO were so wonderful," said Meagheanne Donahue, Mace's mother, who helps facilitate the students' projects.

For more information on Little Drummers, visit their website at


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