“Trucks for Maddox” Renewed for the Holiday Season

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Last year, the wild African painted dogs mauled 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh to death after he fell into the exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Shortly afterward, his parents started the “Trucks for Maddox” charity campaign, which has recently been renewed for the 2013 holiday season.

On Monday, November 4, the Derkoshs announced that they would once again begin to collect toys for children in need, which would serve as a way to mark the one year anniversary of the death of their son.

Last November, over 5,000 toy trucks were donated to honor Maddox, an accomplishment the Derkoshs strive to recreate.

According to WPXI, Elizabeth and Jason, the parents of Maddox, referred to their son as “thoughtful of others beyond his tender years.”

The charity’s website, TrucksForMaddox.org, keeps a list of drop-off locations in nearby areas. In addition to every Pittsburgh firehouse, other locations, such as St. Bernard Church in Mount Lebanon and Shaler North Hills Library in Glenshaw, have also agreed to keep drop-off bins open to the public.

Additionally, the organization placed over two dozen drop-off boxes at other public businesses, all of which are listed on the website. To help with the campaign, four organizations in Philadelphia have already placed donation boxes in their buildings.

Megan Hines LeFebvre, a nonprofit spokeswoman for the “Trucks for Maddox” campaign, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the idea for the campaign came from Maddox’s “love for sharing.”

This year, “Trucks for Maddox” plans to expand and become a more formal organization. To achieve this, the Derkosh family has selected the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh, and the Watson Institute as recipients of the donated toy trucks.

On November 4, 2012, Maddox fell into the African painted dogs exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. His mother had placed him on the edge of the railing overlooking the exhibit, where he lost his balance and fell into the open enclosure, causing the dogs to attack him and maul him to death.