Boy, 7, collects $740 for Riley Hospital to celebrate 1-year anniversary of brother’s surgery

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A little Hoosier made a big difference with his simple gesture for Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.

According to Katie Smithey, her son, 7-year-old Karsen, came running into the living room with a plastic container one day in June and declared he was going to raise $300 for Riley.

Katie originally wasn’t sure what prompted Karsen to cut a hole in the lid of a plastic marshmallow fluff container so he could start collecting money.

She remembers Karsen was playing outside one afternoon and ran into the house frantically searching for scissors after finding the marshmallow fluff container outdoors. Curious about his intentions, Katie asked him what he was doing.

His answer was simple.

“I’m going to cut a hole in the lid so that people can donate money to Riley Hospital, where Cash had his surgery,” her son told her.

Katie said Cash had cleft palate repair surgery when he was nine months old. The care he received left an impression on Karsen.

“The care and compassion that the Riley team had for our son was unbelievable. We are so grateful for them,” Katie told FOX59.

Katie posted almost daily on social media to help Karsen meet his goal of raising $300. The response, she said, was overwhelming. He more than doubled the goal, collecting $740!

The family delivered the donation Monday afternoon at Riley. Photos showed Karsen signing an oversized check to make “official.”

“We are so proud of our son and happy to help him achieve and surpass his goals.”