Charitable 10-year-old uses birthday money to purchase toys, then deliver them to SIUH pediatric unit

STATEN ISLAND, NY — When 10-year-old Andria Dzagania saw “a bunch” of photos and videos of teens with teething problems online, he started thinking about what he could do to make a difference.

After brainstorming an idea, he approached his mother, Nano Zhgenti, and explained his intentions.

“I want to buy presents for sick children with my birthday money and go to the hospital and deliver them in person,” he told his mother.

So on Monday, after a phone call to the hospital, Andria and his mother stopped by the Staten Island University Hospital cancer center in Ocean Breeze to present toys to pediatric patients.

A Sweet Shop Cafe Play Set donated by Andria Dzagania to children in the pediatric ward at Staten Island University Hospital. (Courtesy/Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell) Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Advance

The clever boy brought seven large colorful bags filled with various toys for the children.

Sure enough, he bought the gifts with his own money — cash he received for his birthday on July 4 and other money he’d saved — in the hopes that the toys would bring smiles to the kids’ faces.

The note Andria Dzagania wrote to pediatric patients at Staten Island University Hospital. (Courtesy/Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell) Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Advance

He also added a nice note to share with patients:

Dear children!

I hope you will like my gifts. I wish you the best. Get well soon. I want you all to be happy.

Love, Andria

“This is something very, very special. It really makes you a hero, someone who puts others above their own needs — absolutely wonderful,” Dr. Eleny Romanos-Sirakis, director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, told Andria.

A ukulele purchased by Andria Dzagania that he presented to children in the pediatric ward at Staten Island University Hospital. (Courtesy/Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell) Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Advance

The thoughtful boy, who immigrated from Georgia with his mother about six years ago, is in the fifth grade of PS 38 in his hometown of Midland Beach.

In total, the 10-year-old spent $300 on the toys he bought from Five Below, and even some soft-used toys from his own collection.

“After seeing a lot of pictures and videos of the children in the hospital, I was sad. And when it was my birthday, I knew I wanted to save some money to buy these children’s gifts and I told my mom I wanted them.” donate,” he said.

From left to right Andria Dzagania, Staten Island University Hospital employee, Christine Tierney and Andria’s mother Nano Zhgenti. (Courtesy/Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell) Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Advance

“We got the toy and then came back to our house to put it in bags and then called the hospital who told us to drop it off,” he added.

The toy was accepted by Christine Tierney and Dr. Eleny Romanos-Sirakis, who noted, “All Andria kept saying was that he wanted to make these kids happy and make their dreams come true.”

One of the toy packs donated by the young Andria Dzagania. (Courtesy/Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell) Staten Island AdvanceStaten Island Advance

When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Andria didn’t hesitate for a moment.

“An NBA player,” he said with a smile.

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