Our son Sutton Charlie Neer passed away August 19th, 2010 at 7 1/2 months old as a result of multiple complications after open-heart surgery due to a congenital heart disease. What was supposed to be a 10-day hospital stay at Spokane Children’s Hospital turned into a six-week battle for life. Unfortunately, Sutton’s body was not strong enough to win the battle but his life and struggle has taught us many things and opened our eyes to the many challenges families face when their child gets sick.
Although we have great medical facilities here in the Tri-Cities, when a child gets very ill they are more often than not sent to the Children’s Hospital in Seattle or Spokane to visit doctors, receive treatments and have surgeries. Many times this happens in an emergency situation. When having to travel for medical treatment, families may not have the opportunity to pack toys or some of the comforts of home, they may not have the room or they may not think they need anything. In Sutton’s case, our short stay turned into a living situation for six weeks without a mobile, swing, toys, etc. Through donations to the hospital, they were able to provide these things for Sutton and our family, which provide a playtime and little normalcy.
During our time at Sacred Heart Children’s PICU in Spokane, we noticed that there were not a lot of items for children to help occupy their time while in the hospital. This place, the people who work there and the children hold a special place in our hearts and we want do what we can by asking you and others to donate a new toy to the children. This is our eighth year for this toy drive and we are hoping it will be bigger and better than before. The hospital has provided some suggestions for items on their website for every age range of kids that are in the hospital here; Children’s Hospital Wish List. Many children spend the holidays in a hospital bed separated from family or the traditions they love. To help celebrate the holidays, some of your donations are also put into a ‘Santa Store’ for child patients to go holiday shopping for their siblings. This gives patients an opportunity to participate in the holidays and be able to give to family members by ‘shopping’ within the hospital. Click here and here to see past years’ toy drive success!
Making the choice to donate to these sick kids is incredibly important to our family and although there is never any pressure to donate, we are hoping that if you haven’t already made commitments and it’s in your budget you can participate this year. Please check out our blog Laughter Through Tears for information on the toy drive or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LaughterThroughTears, as well as our online donation site located here. ALL proceeds from this site will be used to buy toys and added to our final delivery! You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are looking for other ways to donate we have other drop off locations throughout the Tri-Cities! Swing by one of these locations and drop off your unwrapped toys!
Mirage Pool N Spa 7422 W Clearwater Ave, Kennewick
Washington Physical Therapy and The Fitness Center 3807 W Court St, Pasco
BANLIN Construction 320 W Columbia Drive, Kennewick
Don’t forget you can donate online! Simply go to www.youcaring.com/2017laughterthroughtears and donate today!
We will be accepting toy donations at local businesses again this year through December 18th!
Bless You and Happy Holidays!
The Neer Family