Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Mercyhealth collects more than 1,000 items at children’s toy drive

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – The Mercyhealth Development Foundation on Dec. 12, held its largest and most successful Holiday Toy Drive to date. 

The foundation collected more than 1,000 toys for pediatric patients receiving care in the Mercyhealth network. Donors dropped off toys throughout the morning and enjoyed a breakfast, holiday music provided by the Boylan Catholic High School Octaves and inspirational testimonials from patients and area organizations. Santa Claus also made a special visit.

Nearly 175 people attended this year’s event and heard uplifting stories of how former patients benefited from toy donations during their care and treatment. Presentations by many area organizations that collected toys were also part of the morning. Those groups included K Cancer baseball and softball teams, Rockford Public Schools 205 Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and St. Rita Catholic School.

Following breakfast, Santa put smiles on children’s faces by delivering the new toys to pediatric patients hospitalized on the Level III (highest level) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric and Pediatric Intensive Care Units, and those receiving care in the Emergency Department of Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside.

“Our Toy Drive is successful because of the continued support of the community,” said
Jennifer Johns, Director of Mercyhealth Development Foundation. “Thanks to all our loyal
sponsors and generous donors, the Foundation is able to provide Mercyhealth’s youngest
patients with toys and games that will help distract, soothe and entertain them as they face
illness or injury throughout the entire year.”

The event was sponsored by Epic Systems and Napleton’s Autowerks, Inc. Business that served as drop-off sites were Mary’s Market, Meg’s Daily Grind, area Starbucks, Williams Tree Farm and St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.

The Holiday Toy Drive is in its 16th year. 

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