It’s a movement that all started in Muncy. Now, thanks to 11-year-old Aly Creasy, she’s helping to change the world one monkey at a time.
Aly’s Monkey Movement began almost two years ago when Aly was in the hospital.
"I was in the emergency room, my nana got me a monkey, and he gave me lot of comfort," Aly said.
That simple stuffed animal eased her worries and got this little girl thinking.
"When I turned 10, I decided to raise money for stuffed monkeys and give them the sick kids in the hospital because it gave me comfort. It makes them happy."
Especially during this pandemic, when sick children in hospitals can’t get many visitors. 20-20 was difficult for so many, but Aly and her mom Kristy used the past several months to really grow Aly’s Monkey Movement to touch even more lives.
"Kristy, since Newswatch 16 first met you guys back in January, what has really changed with the whole Aly’s Monkey Movement?" Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey asked.
"So in January, when you guys met with us, you joined us with a group of students in Lairdsville, Pennsylvania at Renn Elementary School. They adopted a cause for their Christmas exchange program in February of 2020. We (later) launched as an official non-profit, which was really exciting for us," Aly's mom, Kristy Creasy, said.
And since then, so many local companies have stepped up to make all of this monkey business even more successful!
The business helped design future monkey gifts. Local schools are also playing a role!
"I am an adviser for the future business leaders of America at Central Columbia High School. I personally wanted to jump on board to adopt it this year as our project," Holly Hippenstiel from Central Columbia High School Teacher said.
And to help Aly’s Monkey Movement make a bigger global impact?
"We were so blessed by Pennsylvania College of Technology," Aly's mom said.
The local students designed Aly's website.
"They put it above and beyond our expectations to make us a website which has been the vessel for people to be able to communicate with us, refer monkeys and donate," Kristy said.
Also at Aly’s website, you can learn how you can sponsor a monkey for 20 dollars a month or request one for a sick kid in a hospital.
"Aly, let me ask you, what has it meant to you to see so many people get behind your cause? And what would be your message to folks who see this?" Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey asked:
"It makes me feel really happy, and I just want to thank them because, without them, this wouldn’t have happened," Aly said.
It's a testament to our area’s kindness and to the heart of an 11-year-old girl determined to give other kids who are going through a tough time a reason to smile.
Just when you think Aly had her work cut for her, Aly's nonprofit is also distributing special “Hero-themed” Christmas ornaments to honor those working on the frontlines during the pandemic. You can learn more about that here.
Speaking of Reasons to Smile, check out a few other ones Ryan shared on Newswatch 16 This Morning in the video below.