Toy drive benefits CHOP

By Carli Pio
December 4, 2003

Julie Smith

This year Amy Wildey and her college success class hope to brighten the Christmas of the children hospitalized at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia by distributing toys. They have been collecting new, unwrapped toys from our campus community.

CHOP was the first hospital in the nation to open its doors with the purpose of devoting its services exclusively to the care of children in 1855. Since then, the hospital has established the distinction of being ranked among leading pediatric hospitals and research centers in the world.

“This is the first year we have been collecting toys for CHOP,” Wildey said. “One of my students [freshman psychology major, Mary Beth Boyle] approached me with the idea back in September because she spent last Christmas as a patient at CHOP, and she saw how upsetting it was for the children to not have a normal Christmas.”

Since the beginning of November, new toys have been collected in collection boxes located in the Rooymans Center and in New Residence Hall. Toy donations will continue to be collected up until and through the second week of December.

Thus far, 60 toys have been donated, but there is still a way to go before reaching the goal of 150 toys that the college success class has set for itself.

Also contributing a great deal to the toy drive is Wildey’s college success class co-facilitator, Michael Barnes. When Barnes learned his class would be heading up the toy drive, he thought of a way to take the project one step further.

Barnes, who is a resident assistant in addition to being co-facilitator, transformed the annual RA program, Penny Wars, into another way to benefit the patients at CHOP.

The money that will be collected by this program, that turns dorm against dorm to see which one can collect the most money, will win a pizza party during finals week. And in the words of Barnes, “Dude, how totally rad would that be?”

But hey, don’t go shoving your dollar bills in your dorms collection jug just yet. Only pennies are counted as positive points towards your dorm receiving a pizza party. Silver coins and bills can be used to sabotage your neighboring dorms. They are counted as negative points.

Unfortunately since the toy drives start in November, Boyle has found herself back at CHOP as a patient, after having been in and out of the medical center since age two. “Her hospitalization makes this toy drive even more meaningful for the Cabrini community,” Wildey said. But don’t think that her hospitalization has stopped her from participating in the drive. Wildey explained that Boyle is still very much active in the drive, even from her hospital bed.

Stop by the Rooymans center in Amy Wildey’s office to check out a list of suggested items. Toys do not have to be gift wrapped.

Posted to the web by Angelina Wagner

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Carli Pio

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