CHOP switches to virtual toy drive for patients during holidays

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- This has no doubt been a tough year for any child, so you can imagine how much harder it is for kids who will spend the upcoming holidays in the hospital.

Every year, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia runs a massive toy drive to bring joy and smiles to the young patients and their families.

While it will look a little different this year because of the pandemic, the spirit is just as strong and the cheer is more critical than ever.

This year, you won't be able to drop off toys and donations in person, but you can still help make the magic happen through their virtual toy drive.

"Even though these patients and their families are stuck in the hospital over the holiday season, we still want to bring the holidays to them," says Matt Piontkowski, Events Supervisor at CHOP. "It's going to be a memory that they're never going to forget."

Through CHOP's Virtual Toy Drive, you can make a personal donation or start a team with your family or friends or office.

All of the money will be used by the hospital's Child Life team to buy toys and books and crafts to bring the patients some much needed happiness.

This team helps kids and their families cope with difficult diagnoses, brave challenging or scary procedures and navigate the hospital experience

"We're so used to seeing that lobby just filled with so many toys and items, and that is what we want to recreate on the back end from the Child Life department," Piontkowski says.

"We want to create that same experience for our patients and families. So with this monetary donation that our donors are going to provide, we're going to be able to purchase those exact items for our families."

Again, they aren't able to accept physical donations this year because of COVID.

Click here to donate and help make the holidays magical for the patients.
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