‘Tis the season for generous families in our community to open their hearts and provide holiday gifts for St. Luke’s youngest patients in the hospital over the holidays. St. Luke’s Children’s will be accepting gifts for “Santa’s Toy Box” this year, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, but is limiting the timing and asking for people to make appointments to protect the health and safety of patients and employees.
When a child is admitted to the hospital, parents and families deal with enormous stress and strain. If an admission happens during the holiday season, the stress can be even greater. St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital created Santa’s Toy Box to partner with families to help reduce holiday stress and create a wonderful holiday experience.
Santa’s Toy Box relies solely on items donated from the community. We arrange the toys and gift items into a shopping area complete with holiday decorations, music and refreshments. Parents with a child in the hospital are invited to secretly “shop” free of charge in Santa’s Toy Box for every child in the family. The toys selected are then wrapped by a team of volunteers and delivered to the children in their rooms in time for them to experience the joy of Christmas and Hanukkah, even while in the hospital.
Toys are also distributed to other St. Luke’s Emergency Departments, NICUs and even to some of our St. Luke’s clinics around southwest Idaho.
“This week, I have been getting one to three calls a day from the community to share with us the news about their school toy drives, or from patients who last year benefited and want to give back,” said Sherry Iverson, St. Luke’s Children’s Director of Patient and Family Support Services. “It truly reminds and humbles us to see this generosity from our community.”
Community members can donate new, unwrapped toys, games, books and art supplies for kids of all ages. You can also donate gift wrapping supplies like paper, gift bags, tissue paper, bows, tags and ribbon. St. Luke’s is especially grateful this year for donations of toys and gifts for infants, teenagers and gift cards. Some of the items most needed include baby board books, rattles, Lego sets, teen gifts, balls of all types, gift cards for kids and family games.
Find a detailed wish list of ideas for gifts our young patients love and guidelines for what items we unfortunately can’t accept.
Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, you must schedule an appointment for toy donation drop-offs this year. Walk-in donations are discouraged. Please call (208) 381-1163 or email [email protected]. The appointment locations, dates and times are as follows:
St. Luke’s Children’s Administration, 209 W. Main St., Boise
Idaho Elks Children’s Pavilion, 305 E. Jefferson St., Boise (first floor)
Dec. 21-23: 1-5 p.m.
Anita Kisseé was the Treasure Valley public relations manager for St. Luke’s Health System.