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For almost ten years, a teen from Montana has donated children’s books to St. Vincent Healthcare



Billings, Montana – Aiden Fouhy has been gathering and giving children’s books to the pediatric unit at St. Vincent Healthcare for almost ten years.

Fouhy, who is currently seventeen years old and a senior in high school, had the concept when he was eight years old.

“I felt like I wanted to do something for somebody,” Fouhy said at the Billings hospital Wednesday. “I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, so I wanted to do something that impacted a lot of people.”

Fouhy started the process when she sold some cows and made some money. His parents supported him in giving at the time, but they had no idea what idea he would come up with.

“I always thought, ‘Well, when I don’t feel good, I like to read,'” Fouhy said. “So I was like, ‘Well kids in the hospital are an awesome way to do it.'”

And so, starting in 2014, the Fouhy family has been traveling roughly 400 miles from their home in Peerless, Montana, which is close to the Canadian border, to Billings. During that time, Fouhy has given books every year but one.

“I thought it was wonderful,” Aiden’s mother Cindy Fouhy said of the original idea. “It wasn’t out of the ordinary for him to want to give books to others because he realized the value of books and wanted to share that with kids that were his age, younger and older.”

John Jamison, the chaplain at St. Vincent Healthcare, disagreed with his mother, who stated that Aiden experiences such things frequently. Every time a donation was received, Jamison blessed the books, allowing him to witness Aiden’s and the project’s development.

“I don’t know another eight-year-old that comes close to doing what he does,” Jamison said. “He’s matured mentally, spiritually. We refer to him as a kid, but he’s not a kid. He’s a young man and he’s going to do wonderful things in the world.”

A total of 76 books were donated by Aiden in the first year. There were 619 in total on Wednesday.

“I never thought it’d get this big,” Fouhy said. “But I’m really glad it did.”

Aiden, who aspires to be an airline pilot, experienced something new this year when he flew the aircraft himself. He used to take Cape Air to Billings to make the drop-off with his mother.

“With the weight of the books and me and my flight instructor, it was 80 pounds under the max weight that that airplane could take off with,” Fouhy said. “So it was kind of rocky when we were loading up.”

They made the trip, but his mother had to fly alone since they had taken on too much extra weight from the books. Even though the journey is usually lengthy, Fouhy claimed that it is always worthwhile to see the joy on the faces of the kids.

“I can’t even describe it,” Fouhy said. “It’s amazing. It’s the most fulfilling happiness you can feel.”


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