A firefighter drops off toys at Illinois Masonic Hospital. (Credit: Nancy Harty)
CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago firefighters helped spread some holiday cheer to kids in the hospital this Christmas Eve, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.
They piled toys on carts and wheeled them up to the pediatric unit at Illinois Masonic in Lincoln Park. It is an 11-year tradition at four different Chicago hospitals. It’s an 11 year tradition organized by Firefighter Rich Pinskey and his Ignite the Spirit Fund.
“This is a lot of the places where we bring our patients and we deal with them literally every day,” said Pinskey.
He says thanks to a 5k summer run at Soldier Field, the charity raised 10 thousand dollars to buy toys and received a five thousand dollar donation from Target – where they bought all the gifts.
Dr. Clifton Clarke says this is helpful for kids in the tough spot of spending the holidays in the hospital.
“Knowing that people care enough to think about them to bring them a toy and come to their bedside with just a little bit of happiness just for the holidays is wonderful,” said Clarke.
3yo Damien Undda asked Santa for a Spiderman toy – and got one from the firefighters.
His mom Jocelyn hopes her Christmas wish comes true as well – that her son can go home.
He’s been at Illinois Masonic since Saturday with a new diagnosis of anemia.
Pinskey says he’s recruited several fire houses to help hand out toys at Illinois Masonic, Rush, Comer and Lurie hospitals.
At Illinois Masonic, leftovers will stock a toy room and be given out to pediatric patients throughout the year.