|The Special Gift Toy Drive 2007
||[Nov. 24th, 2007|11:44 pm]
|||||Every Time I Die - "The New Black"||]|
I think most of you know my story, but I'll recap it to remind you why I do this. Each year, thousands of children suffer burn related accidents from the many hazards of childhood. In July of 1979, I joined those children. I was admitted to Shriner's Burns Institute in Cincinnati to receive the specialized medical attention I needed to survive another day, the victim of family abuse.
Like many of the other children in the faceless statistics, I awoke disoriented, confused, and alone, in a sterile environment designed to keep me alive. I was scared, frightened, and felt completely isolated from the world I knew, common actions that I had taken for granted now causing crippling agony. Despite all of that, I was lucky. Lucky to be alive, and lucky to be in a caring environment. After four months of rehabilitation, I was able to leave the hospital, mostly under my own power. There were several follow-up visits and surgeries, but for the most part, the worst was over.
However, there are many children who arrive at Shriner's without the luck I have. Many have lost their families, or are summarily abandoned due to their injuries. Compounding that tragedy like nothing else are the hospital stays that last through the holiday season, beginning with Halloween, passing through birthdays and Thanksgiving, before ending up on Christmas, the most anticipated holiday to many children.
The Shriner's Burns Institute relies on private sources to maintain the free hospital services that they provide. They consistently give the best care in the burn field, making breakthrough discoveries almost daily. They do their best to provide for every child who is rushed in through their doors, but the holidays are tough, especially for the tiny patients. That's where you and I come in to the picture. We are collecting new toys, games, and books to donate to the Shriner's Burns Institute in Cincinnati – to give back a “Special Gift” to the children. Words can not even begin to describe the feeling received when you know that your actions are able to bring a smile to the face and joy to the heart of these young victims.
From now through December 20th (to allow adequate time for delivery to the hospital), we are asking that if you have the opportunity, please purchase a new (sadly, used toys can not be accepted due to sterilization concerns) toy, game, comic or book for donation to the Special Gift Toy Drive. Each comic, card, game or the like that we donate this way will provide a child with the things that we love so much, hopefully igniting in them the same passions we feel when we read a great book or play an awesome video game.
As many of you know, we often donate a higher end video game system to the hospital, along with a television, some games, and a rolling cart so that it can be taken to the children unable to leave their beds. In that vein, I have a more ambitious goal than ever – I intend to have one PSP (PlayStation Portable) system and game/movie donated for each child in the hospital over the holidays (around 30). If you’re interested to contributing to that particular effort, let me know - the best deal on it I have found is at Wal-Mart (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5733771). Also, if you wish to donate general items, I have a list of items that Shriner's would like to have donated – all you need to do is ask to see it.
As I said, I was lucky. I'm even more blessed by seeing the generosity of all of my friends each year - and there is nothing that makes me prouder than when we spread our good fortune on to others in this way.
Thank you very much, and I hope you have a happy and rewarding holiday season.
The Special Gift Toy Drive