Lakeland, FL – Young patients are enjoying an unexpected treat during their hospital visits to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Approximately $66, 000 in retail value worth of toys were recently shipped to the hospital’s pediatric units to be distributed to the youngsters courtesy of Kids Wish Network, a Holiday, Florida based national charity dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children. Each and every child entering the hospital for treatment will receive a brand new toy from the Holiday of Hope Gift Bank. This extraordinary event would not be possible without the generosity of presenting sponsor, Wal-Mart.
Kerrie Gafford, Store Manager for Wal-Mart Store #547, said the company was once again proud to be a part of this special program. “On behalf of the three Wal-Mart stores located in Plant City, North Lakeland and South Lakeland, I am proud to sponsor the event at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center this Tuesday, Dec 4th, 2007. Wal-Mart is committed to the philosophy of giving back to the communities in which we serve. As an advisory board member of the Kid’s Wish Network, I am very pleased with the efforts the organization makes every year across the country.”
Kids Wish Network’s Holiday of Hope Gift Bank is an uplifting, gift-giving program that brings cheer to children admitted to the hospital for treatment. The Gift Bank provides emergency rooms, pediatric wards, and other children’s care facilities with age appropriate toys that offer a welcome distraction to young patients from upsetting and often-traumatic medical experiences. Emergency and hospital rooms can be frightening places for children and these special toys bring them comfort and joy when they need it the most.
A soft, plush toy can quickly dry the eyes of a child getting stitches or having a broken arm set; books, puzzles, and games provide an enjoyable diversion to long hospital stays. Pediatric doctors and nurses all agree that sometimes a smile can be the very best medicine.
"The Pediatric floor of LRMC was delighted to be able to participate in the Kids Wish gift bank. It is so uplifting to know that we have so many members of the community willing to donate their time and energy to brighten the days for our patients. We are very grateful to Kids Wish and our sponsors for their generosity," said Christie Schwichtenberg, Child Life Specialist at Lakeland Regional Medical Center.
For more information on Kids Wish Network’s programs, please visit their website at www.kidswishnetwork.org. If you know of a hospital that could benefit from its Holiday of Hope Gift Bank program, please call 727- 937-3600 or toll free at 888- 918-9004.