BRONX, NEW YORK, December 21- More than 100 children hospitalized during the holidays had a big dose of seasonal cheer delivered by more than 20 New York Police Department officers who donated toys through their tenth annual toy drive for The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM).
A brother-sister team of Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack from the 40th Precinct in Mott Haven and Patricia Doyle, a nurse in the Moses Campus Emergency Department, partnered together 10 years ago to brighten the holidays for kids at CHAM. Detective McCormack wanted to give something back for the holidays and his sister, who has worked at Montefiore for more than 20 years, connected him with CHAM. After having such a positive experience during the first toy drive, Detective McCormack committed to continuing his efforts and has recruited numerous NYPD colleagues who eagerly participate each year.
“We started this in 2002 as a way to give back to the community, and each year it gets bigger with more colleagues, old and new, who want to be part of the festivities,” he said. “It brings such joy to the kids and the officers, who get a new sense of appreciation for their own families and also get to share a little happiness with kids who won’t be able to go home for the holidays.”
Meghan Kelly, M.S., C.C.L.S., director of the Child Life Program at CHAM, works with the brother-and-sister team each year and navigates them throughout the hospital to ensure that every child receives a gift. The Child Life Program helps children successfully cope with illness, injury and treatment so they can continue to live normal lives during their healthcare experience. Child life specialists provide emotional support, addressing common fears and misunderstandings and help patients and their families become comfortable with the hospital environment.
“The toy delivery is a great opportunity for the patients and families to see the NYPD giving to our community not only through their service but also through charity,” Kelly said. “This event makes a big difference every year, and we are so thankful for their continued effort to make the holidays special for our kids.”
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