Max Page, the 9-year-old Young and the Restless actor who helped make a certain Little Darth Vader Volkswagen commercial go viral, wants to help kids like himself.
That's why on Nov. 13, Page invited his Y&R co-stars and members of the press to help him fill JoyJars—containers packed with toys that will be delivered to hospitalized children.
Born with a congenital heart defect, Page underwent open heart surgery in 2011 to replace a pulmonary valve. During his stay at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the pint-sized soap star got an up close and personal look at what hospital life is like for kids—and he decided he wanted to make it fun.
The Orange County, Calif.-based nonprofit was launched in 2011 by 12-year-old Jessie Joy Rees, who had been diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors.
Rees created the JoyJars for kids undergoing hospital treatment who might feel lonely or even bored. While Rees was able to be treated at home, she felt for the children who had to stay in the hospital.
"What I loved about [JoyJars] is that it's just made for kids—not anybody else, just kids," said Page, who's now the JoyJar junior national spokesperson.
And while Rees passed away in 2012, her JoyJar legacy—and Never Ever Give Up (NEGU) motto—live on.
"I think she'd be amazed," Stacey Rees, her mother, said at the Wednesday event. "I think she would be very happy and just ecstatic."
In December, Page will revisit the hospital for eye surgery and later to replace his pacemaker. Once again, he'll get to see how JoyJars affect kids, something he's seen before.
"It was cool," he said of the children's reactions. "Just seeing kids be happy."