The Fox Box Project: Helping By Remembering

Brandon Schnurr

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The Fox Box at Bronson’s Oncology Clinic, lined with donations received from around Kalamazoo. Photo Credit, Liana Fox


Earlier this year on April 27th, 2018, Ethan Fox, a Loy Norrix student and friend of many, lost his 17 month long battle with osteosarcoma. In honor of Ethan, a new project is being created by his friends and family named The Fox Box Project.
The Fox Box Project is a new initiative for the patients at Bronson Hospital Pediatric Oncology clinic, where Ethan was treated for his osteosarcoma, to bring joy to teenagers who are in the clinic for numerous reasons. The Fox Box is a donation box for any items such as travel games, jewelry, journals, and more that will be given to teenagers in the clinic to make their time there more enjoyable.
Junior Matthew Vestal, a close friend of Ethan Fox, is one of the members assisting the goal of the Fox Box Project.
“Ever since Kindergarten, we’ve been friends,” said Vestal. “I felt like it was my job.”
Vestal helps to collect donations and raise awareness around Norrix and several other locations with the help of statistics and sociology/psychology teacher Rebecca Layton, who assists in collecting donations in her classroom at Norrix.
“We’re looking for small gifts aimed towards teenagers. We’re looking for them to be new or unused,” said Vestal.
A Facebook page dedicated to The Fox Box Project has been set up which provides information and will be updated to inform readers of future logistics. On the page, you can find different ways of contributing and learn how to donate to the project.
“All items donated will be verified ‘cool’ by us and our trusted team of actual teenagers,” The Fox Box Project’s Facebook page states.
Vestal is one of those teens, and he is willing to help make others in the same position as Ethan feel the happiness they need and deserve.
“It’s to help give a sense of joy to the [older] kids and teens in the cancer ward,” said Vestal. “Not only that, but to continue on the legacy that Ethan left for us, to stay happy even in the worst of times.”
The Fox Box was born out of a simple problem with the prize chest at the clinic. The prize chest offers prizes to kids, but it doesn’t offer much to older children and teens.
“The clinic currently has a toy chest that kids can pick from, but older kids are often left out because the ‘prizes’ are not geared toward teenagers,” the Facebook page states. 
The purpose of The Fox Box Project is to gather enough support and donations in the future to cover teens in other parts of the hospital, but for now, they are limiting themselves to the Oncology Clinic. Currently, donations can be made from several locations, including locations like Norrix and businesses like Great Lakes Caring Home Health and Hospice. PayPal donations can be made from the Facebook page via a link.
At Loy Norrix, donations can be made in Rebecca Layton’s room at K12.