2010-12-22 / Front Page

At Burke Medical Center

Broxtons establish toy closet for hospitalized children
By Elizabeth Billips lizbillips@yahoo.com

Blake Harrison helps his brother-in-law Jonathan Broxton stock the new toy closet at Burke Medical Center. Blake Harrison helps his brother-in-law Jonathan Broxton stock the new toy closet at Burke Medical Center. It may be off-season for LA Dodger Jonathan Broxton but he and his wife Elizabeth are a huge hit at Burke Medical Center.

The couple launched a toy drive in Burke County last weekend, collecting more than 1,000 Barbies, books, board games and other gifts for hospitalized children.

“We knew we wanted to do something with toys, and we knew we wanted to do something with children,” Elizabeth said, noting they first decided to help replenish the toy closet at MCG Children’s Medical Center where her younger brother Blake is treated for juvenile diabetes. “But then I told Jon, we’ve got to find a way to make this local too … to help children in our hometown.’”

Jonathan agreed, and together on Monday they established Burke Medical Center’s first toy closet.

Broxton helps a patient at MCG Children’s Medical Center pick out a toy. Broxton helps a patient at MCG Children’s Medical Center pick out a toy. The idea was simple. The Broxtons hired a band, hosted a Christmas party and asked attendees to bring along two toys for the cause. By the end of the night, there were enough toys to stock both medical centers.

“And it’s not just for Christmas,” Jonathan said, telling hospital personnel to call him when donations run low. “It could be the middle of the summer and I still want kids to be able to pick a toy to play with instead of being stuck in the hospital with nothing to do.”

At Burke Medical Center, a toy closet has been a long time coming.

While the Pink Ladies (Hospital Auxiliary) provide goodies from their gift shop on occasion, nurses often find themselves scrounging for paper and crayons to try to keep young patients occupied and happy.

Now, each child admitted two or more nights will pick a new toy to keep for his/her stay, then take home. Other toys will be put into a library-style system to be checked out by patients on a daily basis.

“It feels like Christmas for me too,” hospital administrator Jennifer Royal said as dolls, electronics and art kits were stacked on shelves. “To be able to bring a smile to a child’s face who is ill has got to be one of the best feelings in the world … it truly touches the heart to witness such an occurrence.”

KEEP THEM COMING

BMC employees have set up a collection box by the front desk and are accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys suitable for play in a hospital room. Suggestions include:

• Handheld electronics and DVD players

• Board games

• Dolls

• Markers, art paper • Plastic, trucks, planes or trains

• Action figures

• Legos • Arts & Craft sets

• Cards • Nerf toys • Portable CD players

Return to top