During the last few weeks of 2022, University Hospital Pediatrics was brimming with gifts for patients thanks to multiple generous donors.
Provident Bank held a toy drive for employees and customers at three branch locations in Newark, Kearny, and Bellevue. At the end of the toy collection drive, large bags of toys were picked up from each bank by a University Hospital ambulance then transferred to a City of Newark firetruck driven by Santa Clause or one of his trusted helpers. As the firetruck careened toward the hospital, siren blaring, bells ringing and lights flashing, the children (not so patiently) waited for it to arrive. Santa and his helpers distributed toys that included superhero figures, cars, dolls, Lego sets, books, and V-tech education sets.
Other donors included individuals from our community and hospital staff whose gifts were also distributed to pediatric patients with appointments during those weeks. There is no question that the toys contributed to a joyful day for the children, and we all received the best kind of thank you: their smiles. We were especially moved when one parent said that the toy their child received helped their family feel part of the community, and that the kindness shown to them through the program would never be forgotten.