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Bakery, mom promote "random acts" to remember boy

Tyson Such

Tyson Such

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By Jake Keator
The Times-Leader

Thursday, January 18, 2018

AYDEN — The owner of a downtown bakery is adding a special treat to her weekly children’s story time on Saturday to encourage others to join a movement that celebrates the short life of a young friend. 

Gwendy Yiznitsky, who operates of Gwendy’s Goodies at 514 Second St., is promoting Random Act for Ty (#randomactsforty) during the 10 a.m. story hours on Friday. 

“Random Acts” calls on people to perform a random act of kindness in memory of Tyson Such.

Tyson was born Jan. 6, 2014. Shortly after his birth, he was diagnosed with lissencephaly. Also known as "smooth brain," lissencephaly is a rare genetically based disease in which the folds on the brain are not present causing the brain to look much smoother than normal. This can lead to seizures, facial discrepancies, such as an abnormally small jaw bone and decreased muscle tone.

“Ty” died March 2017.

To celebrate her son’s life, Jessica Such began encouraging random acts of kindness such as paying for a customer’s order in a restaurant drive through. She created the hashtag #randomactsforty and had cards printed that shared Ty’s story. Folks who perform a random act can leave the card for the recipient of the act to encourage them to pay it forward. 

“Anyone who would like to honor Tyson’s sweet spirit is welcome to participate in Random Acts for Ty in his birth month of January, spreading love and generosity through random acts of kindness,” the cards read.

Yiznitsky is a family friend and was more than happy to support the Random Acts initiative for Such.

“She someone who always has a smile on her face,” Yiznitsky said. “Here she was, dealing with a medically fragile child, when she didn’t know how long he had to live, and she was joyful and kind, generous and encouraging.”

Yiznitsky has promoted the movement at her store and customers have joined, purchasing items for other customers as a way to honor Tyson.

“I’ve had one customer purchase another’s birthday cake for them,” Yiznitsky said.

In honor of Ty’s love for elephants, Friday’s story time will feature the readings of “Elmer,” “When the Elephant Walks,” “Hiding Phil” and “Hide and Seek.” Children also will receive an elephant-shaped sugar cookie.

Gwendy’s Goodies is also donating $2 per cookie distributed to a child to the Parker Lee Foundation. The foundation, based in central Ohio, is a nonprofit group that helps improve the quality of life for disabled and disadvantaged children.

“When Ty passed away, all of his medical equipment was donated to the foundation. His parents had asked at that time donations be made to that organization in lieu of flowers,” Yiznitsky said.

Children who attend Friday’s story time will also receive a card detailing how they and their families can get involved with the “Random Acts for Ty” campaign.

“We hope people will be inspired to go do a random act of kindness, and even possibly give the cookie to the person receiving the act of kindness,” Yiznitsky said.

“Random Acts for Ty” runs through Jan. 31. All proceeds from elephant cookies sold throughout the month will be donated to the Parker Lee Foundation.

Gwendy’s Goodies is located at 514 Second St., Ayden. For more information or to make a donation, call 252-414-8716.

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