Just like so many others across Central New York and most of America, Syracuse teen Joey Abt and his family are preparing for a Christmas like they've never experienced before.

Typically, Abt would be spending the holidays with his beloved 90-year-old grandmother. But given the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Abt will be spending his first Christmas away from her. Luckily, he's come up with a plan to keep his grandma smiling through the holiday season ahead.

The 16-year-old with Down syndrome is calling on the Central New York community to cheer his grandma up with hundreds of Christmas cards this year.

Abt told CNYCentral she's been collecting cards for years, and he believes that receiving holiday cheer from families across the region would make her smile during this difficult time.

Courtesy of Joey's Dirt Road Diary

If you'd like to send your well wishes and some holiday spirit this season, you can send a card to Janet (Sue) Bonaccio at St. Francis Commons, 12 Burkle St. #200A Oswego, NY 13126.

According to a post on Joey's Dirt Road Diary Facebook page, his grandmother has already started to receive cards, not only from Central New Yorkers, but also from people all across the United States.


As his grandmother has spent much of her year in the nursing home, Abt has been doing his part to make her feel loved and cheer her up. Abt told CNYCentral he recently assembled a Christmas tree outside her window at the nursing home.

Courtesy of Joey's Dirt Road Diary
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