RJ Bourgeois, 7, gives his father, Rick Bourgeois, a hug as he and his sister, Sophie, mom, Brianna, and dad load their pickup truck with cookies and presents for children at the The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House in Portland. RJ, a first-grader at Greene Central School, raised $3,300 to buy 10 iPod Touches and 10 Bluetooth speakers so that every room in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, will be equipped to play soothing music when their parents are not there. RJ also bought copies of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and rattles for every baby who will be in the NICU or critical care unit Christmas Day. The 1,000 cookies that RJ and his mother made are for staff. In addition to donations, RJ made crafts and sold “Ninja Bread” at craft fairs to raise the money. RJ was born at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital with a life-threatening condition and he and his parents have delivered presents at Christmas each year since to show their appreciation. “He’s our enthusiastic elf,” Brianna Bourgeois said. “He never stops.” Daryn Slover/Sun Journal


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