MURRAY, KY — A 7-year-old western Kentucky girl believes it’s better to give than to receive.

So, to celebrate her upcoming birthday, she and her family are collecting toys and supplies from Marshall and Calloway counties for children battling cancer.

Madison Gamble of Benton, Kentucky, decided to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, after talking with her mom, Toni.

“Madison approached me back in the spring, wanting to do some form of fundraiser for a charity for her birthday,” Toni recalled. “And I started naming off some local charities, and nothing really stood out to her. So, when I mentioned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and told her about what they do there and the kids battling cancer, she knew that was exactly where she wanted to take up donations for for her birthday.”

“I like giving to kids,” Madison said.

Madison’s dad, Rustin, said the original plan was to collect items from some family friends to send to St. Jude. But, he contacted some local businesses to see if they wanted to get involved. Four of them have set up collection bins where people can drop off donations.

Those businesses are:

— J-MACK BBQ at 317 Chestnut St. in Murray.
— Country Chevrolet at 104 West 5th St. in Benton.
— Lake Chem Community Federal Credit Union in Draffenville.
— Lake Chem Community Federal Credit Union in Calvert City.

“It makes us pretty happy, especially with everything that’s going on in the world today, to see a 7-year-old kid wanting to give,” Rustin said.

But, Madison and her family aren’t just relying on donations to help St. Jude. They’re buying a lot of the toys and supplies themselves. Local 6 caught up with them as they filled a shopping cart at the Walmart in Murray.

“I have a goal too. We have a huge, giant bucket to keep everything in, and I want to fill that up. And, I think this will do it already,” Madison said, looking at the toys in her cart. She said helping the kids at St. Jude is “very exciting.”

Madison will celebrate her 8th birthday on Sept. 29. The goal is to fill a 26-foot trailer the family has with items by Oct. 11. They plan to drive to St. Jude the next day to deliver the donations themselves.

The family is collecting donations based on a list provided by St. Jude. Items include superhero action figures, crayons, paint brushes, stickers and more. Click here to see the full list of items.

Madison’s family has set up a Facebook page where they post updates of the fundraiser. Click here to check it out.

For more information on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, visit

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