Smiles by Maggie cheer up Mayo Clinic patients

A Hutchinson 9-year-old is hard at work putting smiles on the faces of young Mayo Clinic patients.

Maggie Newman spends most of her days doing activities that make a typical third-grader smile.

"I like to dance, sing, and swim," she said.

But her passion right now is a bigger project prompted by a call to service from her church.

She was excited to help but got off to a rocky start.

"I asked my mom for some ideas," Maggie said. "They were all lame and, like, helping around the community, like, take out trash and doing chores, and I wanted to do something big."

Inspired by an aunt and a cousin’s battles with cancer, she settled on Smiles by Maggie, building boxes to put smiles on the faces of Mayo Clinic patients.

"They sent us, like, a little wishlist, and we picked some things off with the wish list and some things off the wish list," Maggie said.

The boxes are filled with socks and games like Uno and also Magic 8 balls.

"I like them because I talk to them, and they answer me," Maggie said. "If you have cancer, then you like to have something to do."

Her care packages come with handwritten messages about courage and bravery, and they’re sealed with Smiles by Maggie stickers.

The first batch of nine got rave reviews from the Mayo, so Maggie decided to keep going.

She’s aiming for 100 boxes of pure joy.

"Right now I'm a kid, so I can't really do that much for a kid," she said. "So all I can do is put a smile on their face."

As her vision grew, so did the costs, so Maggie’s dad launched a GoFundMe page for anyone who wants to help Maggie spread smiles.