CINCINNATI (FOX19) - As the holidays get closer, some people start to wonder about the youngest patients that have to spend the holidays in the hospital.
In years past, you could walk into the hospital and drop off a toy or present.
This year those toys will have to be shipped. But that doesn’t change the need for gifts around Christmas.
“We really weren’t sure what the holidays were going to hold as far as any sort of campaign or giving opportunities were going to go,” explains Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Donor Officer Sara Coyle. “Ultimately we still have patients that need holiday gifts.”
Coyle is normally busy this time of year organizing toy donations at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Last year donations came in from people like Tanya Kennedy Gil, who collected gifts in memory of son. Or young Naomi Short battling her own illness but thinking of others. She collected a large donation of toys to bring to the hospital. And Ava McErlane donated toys for the second year in a row after collecting them in her home for weeks.
Coyle was there for all of those donations.
“I absolutely love this time of year and I love being in this role,” explains Coyle. “And it’s so special getting to meet all of the wonderful community members who support us year after year, and they’re just so incredibly generous and it’s so great to get to meet them.”
This year, due to the pandemic, they are asking people to think differently about how they donate those toys and gifts.
“We have already received a lot of communication from people who are wanting to start something this year,” says Coyle. “You know they’ve been going through a lot themselves, but they are in the giving spirit. We’re seeing that a lot.”
If you are like Ava, Naomi, and Tanya and still want to collect toys, that’s ok too.
The hospital asks that you mail them because they cannot accept any in-person donations at this time.
Coyle says these toys are still so important to the youngest patients here at the hospital during the holidays.
“To have a little bit of normalcy, to get to be a kid, to get to open a toy, play with something new, can just bring so much excitement and help them through their day," explains Coyle. "Lift their spirit while they’re going to something really difficult, so it is a really special, special thing.”
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