- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - A 6-year-old girl from Tennessee made a special delivery this week during her spring break vacation.

Charlie Hobbs brought 24 plain brown paper bags to Anderson.

Pushing a metal cart down a hallway at St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital, the shy little girl passed out care packages stuffed with crossword puzzles, lip balm, snacks, tissues and a water bottle to the cancer patients.

Paige Hobbs, Charlie’s 3-year-old sister, helped her older sister distribute the bags on Monday.

Charlie’s reason to make the bags of comfort was simple.

“Cancer makes people sick,” she told The Herald Bulletin (https://bit.ly/1OZ5lRB ). “If I had to sit with a needle in me all day, I would be bored. And I would be hungry.”

Charlie decided to help the cancer patients living in Madison County shortly after her “pawpa,” Roger Hobbs, 58, of Frankton, was diagnosed with cancer on Christmas Eve.

Pawpa was full of emotion watching the smiles Charlie’s gift brought to each patient being treated that morning.

“I think it’s absolutely stunning that she would think of other people and how they would feel,” said Roger Hobbs.

One of the patients to get a delivery from Charlie was Larry Tinkle, who was receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer.

“It’s marvelous,” he said, giving Charlie a hug after she handed him a bag.

Sandra Crawley, director of cancer services at St. Vincent, was surprised to learn this isn’t the first time Charlie has helped others. The little girl said she likes raising money for fundraisers.

“I can’t believe that at six years old she does other fundraising,” Crawley said. “This is unlike anything I’ve seen before.”

Crawley explained cancer patients experience an emotional toll after a diagnosis in addition to the financial burdens and questions they have about fighting cancer. She said Charlie’s actions were extremely thoughtful of others.

Throughout the morning, the sisters often clung to their parents when they faced a slew of strangers and medical personnel. Handing a bag to each patient, however, was a different story.

“They said thank you,” she said.

Charlie’s father, David Hobbs, 32, said his daughter has always been thoughtful and intuitive of others.

“This is kind of who she is,” he said. “Her mom is real good about nurturing that side of her and going out of her way to help her achieve those things for other people. Because kids don’t often know how to do it, they just want to do it.”

Amanda Hobbs, 30, said the experience is also one that her daughter benefits from because strangers are “out of her comfort zone.” She said Charlie enjoys doing the behind-the-scene things to help others, but it was good for her to meet the people she was trying to help.

“She instinctively thinks of others,” Amanda said.

After making her deliveries, Charlie was more at ease with being the unexpected center of everyone’s attention and talked freely about why she wanted to help other people.

“Because it’s nice,” she said.

Her hope was that each patient felt the same way she felt the first time someone tried to help her.

“I felled and it kind of hurt my knee,” she said. “My best friend Sophia helped me to my teacher.”

The Hobbses say they are careful about what they share with Charlie during her grandfather’s battle with cancer, because they do not want to overwhelm her.

“She knows something is wrong, but she doesn’t quite understand it,” said David. “She is 6. She doesn’t understand what is happening.”

___

Information from: The Herald Bulletin, https://www.theheraldbulletin.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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