CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — More than a dozen Chicago firefighters and their families delivered gifts to the pediatric unit of Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Friday.
Firefighters entered one room bearing gifts for 1-month-old Marie and her mother. Marie was born premature, and remained hospitalized for the holidays. Friday was her mother’s birthday, so she got gifts too.
“For you, since you’re going to be here, I’m sure, a while; play a little game, some headphones,” a firefighter said.
Ignite the Spirit, a charity organized by Chicago firefighters and paramedics, has been delivering gifts to kids at the hospital for decades.
“I appreciate everything that you all do for us, and it’s just a wonderful thing. I want you all to be safe for Christmas and if you’re all able to see your family, you all should do it,” Marie’s mother said.
This year, Ignite the Spirit has delivered about 1,000 gifts to children at local hospitals. Some of those gifts are stockpiled at the hospitals to give to kids throughout the year, not just at Christmas.
Firefighters and their families host fundraisers throughout the year to collect donations of toys.