Not even the Florida heat could stop Santa Claus from making a stop at Wolfson Children’s Hospital of Jacksonville to distribute toys donated by generous community members for Christmas in July. The 11th annual toy and donation drive, presented by Subaru of Jacksonville, lasted the entire month of July with Santa making his special visit on July 25, 2022.
During this year’s Christmas in July, people from Jacksonville and far beyond donated 1,739 toys, with a total estimated value of $22,627. Additionally, throughout July generous donors gave $21,120.25 in financial gifts online. The funds will be used to purchase toys for Wolfson Children’s patients.
Though there were no public in-person drop-offs at Wolfson Children’s Hospital this year, presenting sponsor Subaru of Jacksonville collected toys at their showroom on Atlantic Boulevard throughout the month. In addition to thousands of dollars worth of toys from the community, staff and ownership, the dealership contributed $25,000 to support the Child Life department.
The Child Life specialists and music therapists at Wolfson Children’s Hospital use toys and games to help normalize the hospital experience and teach kids and teens about their conditions and procedures they will undergo. Additionally, toys help babies and younger children continue to develop physically and cognitively on track during their hospital stays.
“The toys certainly help provide entertainment for the children in the hospital, but the benefits extend so much further,” said Susan Kinnebrew, CCLS, associate director of Family Support Services at Wolfson Children’s. “They provide children with a small sense of normalcy when everything else around them is different, and help introduce them to unfamiliar medical equipment. We’re so grateful the community continues to support these children and the outstanding teams that dedicate their lives to caregiving.”
Michael D. Aubin, FACHE, president of Wolfson Children’s Hospital and chief philanthropy officer of the Baptist Health Foundation, said, “I’m continually astounded by the generosity of our community and the support from organizations and businesses like Subaru of Jacksonville. Every person who donated to Christmas in July can rest assured knowing their gift truly made a difference to a child in the hospital.”
Those who wish to donate toys year-round can do so by visiting the Wolfson Children’s Hospital Amazon wish list. To make a financial contribution to Wolfson Children’s Hospital throughout the year, which allows our Child Life and Music Therapy team to purchase the toys and musical instruments that are needed most, please visit wolfsonchildrens.com/give.