From donating books to buying T-shirts, the community continues to show its support to help keep "Alivea's Dream Alive."
Alivea Kristine Cox is the 14-year-old Richmond Hill girl who died June 4, just hours after being diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.
She was buried on June 9 at Daniel Baptist Cemetery, after a funeral and visitation attended by hundreds. Her parents are Kristi and Allen Cox.
Aware of her generosity for others and a dream she had to help get books to disadvantaged children in the Ukraine, the phrase "Keeping Alivea's Dream Alive" quickly became the name of a support group page on Facebook, organized by Richmond Hill resident and former teacher Beth Odom, and assisted by Mindy Galbreath and Kelli George.
The phrase is affixed to the front of T-shirts available for purchase, and on container bins placed at local businesses accepting new and used books.
Odom said the response to all of the fundraising efforts to help Alivea’s family and the orphaned children have been tremendous.
“I knew Richmond Hill would show their support, because they have done so in the past (with other fundraisers),” Odom said Tuesday. “I knew this would be big, but not this big.”
Within the first few days, a T-shirt sale, organized by KTM’s Sew Much Baggage, placed more than 300 orders with a design that displays the “Keeping Alivea’s Dream Alive” graphic and a Biblical quote “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, and in purity.”
As of Tuesday, close to 500 orders for the T-shirt were requested, and a re-order is being placed. The shirts sell for $20, which is being used to pay for shipping costs for the donated books to the Ukraine, Odom said.
To inquire about the T-shirts or to place an order, call KTM’s Sew Much Baggage at 912-341-4419.
The City of Richmond Hill announced it was an active book collection partner and was accepting new or gently used books suitable for children and young adults.
It said books can be dropped off at City Hall (40 Richard Davis Drive), the Fire Department’s Station 1 (9964 Ford Avenue) and the Police Department (120 Richard Davis Drive) during the hours of Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. While supplies last, “We Are Richmond Hill” bracelets will be given in appreciation of donations.
Other book location drop-off sites, as of Wednesday, include:
• The Hair Station
• Copenhaver Dental
• The Ice Cream Stop
• Advent Therapy
• Love's Seafood
• KTM's Sew Much Baggage
• Pembroke Advanced Communications
• Corinth Baptist Church
• Georgia Game Changers
• Way Station Coffee Co.
• ExperCare Urgent Care (Richmond Hill and Savannah)
* Children's Village
* Fords Pointe (Savannah)
* R. Widener & Company Jewelers (Savannah)
* Ice Cream Stoppe (Pooler)
* John Smith State Farm (Savannah).
* Richmond Hill Insurance
* ReMax Accent (RH and Pooler)
* Immanuel Baptist Church (Savannah)
The Bryan County School District said it will take part in the book drive once school returns in the fall, organizers added.
More than 1,400 books were already collected this week at just two sites, with more pickups scheduled. The KTM Sew Much Baggage donation location reported the delivery of 884 books, while the first pickup at the Ice Cream Stop netted 562 books.
Odom said more donation locations are being added daily, and that businesses or organizations should ask first before setting up a donation center so that proper steps are followed. And those wishing to donate should make sure it is an approved site, Odom added.
Monetary donations are also being accepted, but cash or checks should be directed to KTM’s Sew Much Baggage at 11254 Ford Ave. Odom said she is working with a local bank and hopes to have an account set up soon so that people can donate directly online.
In addition, KTM announced that a percentage of sales to their store on July 12, between noon and 7 p.m. will go toward defraying the books shipping costs.
Finally, several have already signed up on the Facebook page, as part of an effort called “Take them a meal” to provide food to the Cox family, Odom said.
The Facebook page Keeping ALIVEA's Dream Alive can be accessed here.