Gardens Mall Supporting Wellington Teen’s Bricks Busting Boredom Program

At age 18, Dan Clein of Wellington is wise beyond his years. His words and actions are sure to inspire people of all ages. “There’s no age limit on how old you can be to help the world,” Clein said.

Nearly five years ago, Clein’s cousin was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer. For several months, he witnessed his young cousin go through painful cancer treatments, spending much of that time in hospital rooms.

“We realized how little there is to do for children going through treatment. They can’t really be a kid or stimulate their creativity,” he said.

The experience prompted Clein to start Bricks Busting Boredom, a nonprofit that collects new and used Lego bricks to give to children in hospitals across South Florida. “When you watch a child step out of their hospital bed and see the Lego sets, their eyes light up,” he said.

In its first year, Bricks Busting Boredom has collected at least 750 pounds of Lego bricks.

From April 28 to May 15, Bricks Busting Boredom will accept donations during “Lego Takeover!” at the Gardens Mall. Guests can donate new or used Lego sets, with an emphasis on small kits or Lego Duplo blocks.

Donations have come in from all across the country.

Clein’s mother, Deborah, said she is very proud of what her teenage son has accomplished.

“I wish he didn’t know anything about childhood cancer, but since he does, I am thrilled to see him want to help,” she said. “As a mom, it’s wonderful to see him want to give back to the community.”

It was during the National Philanthropy Day Luncheon in November of last year when Clein’s story caught the attention of Erin Devlin, special events and PR director at the Gardens Mall.

“I was impressed and inspired by the initiative that Dan took. Knowing that we were getting ready to host ‘Lego Takeover!’ at the Gardens Mall, it became one of my first priorities to get in touch with him,” Devlin said.

At the end of the event, all of the donations will be weighed and delivered to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

“We feel it’s our duty to weave philanthropy in as much as we can when hosting special events that are free and open to the public. It’s just another way that we can give back to our local communities,” Devlin said.

ABOVE: Dan Clein with some of the Lego bricks he has collected.