SPRINGFIELD — Early this December, employees from all areas of the Baystate Health system collectively donated a variety of toys and other needed items for this year’s holiday toy drives.
Baystate Medical Center (BMC) collected more than 1,000 toys through employee donations, which were complemented by donations from AMR Ambulance. This year’s donations benefited local children served by Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) in Mason Square and New North Citizens’ Council in the North End.
“It’s heartwarming to see the smiles and excitement these toys bring to our children,” said Karon Forde, director of Youth Programs at MLKFS. “Each donation is a spark of joy and a message that they are valued and remembered. Baystate’s contribution to MLKFS is a beautiful gesture of community spirit and compassion that touches not only the children, but their families as well.”
Baystate Franklin Medical Center collected nearly 200 toys from team-member donations, which were given to Community Action Pioneer Valley Family Center. One of the agency’s leaders said this year has been “a particularly tough one.” Everything from dolls and trucks to games, stuffed animals, books, arts and crafts supplies, hats, and mittens were collected.
Baystate Noble Hospital team members collected toys and gifts to benefit families in Greater Westfield served by Behavioral Health Network. For many years, Baystate Noble employees have helped brighten Christmas for many families in need, and this year was no different.
“Our team looks forward to donating toys and gifts each year,” said Lissette Grimaldi, chief Nursing officer and chief administrative officer, at Baystate Noble. “Giving back is in this team’s DNA. We are so happy to be able to provide some holiday cheer to families in need in our own community.”
Team members at Baystate Wing Hospital participated in an annual toy and gift drive supporting 107 children from families living in Ware, Palmer, Belchertown, Brookfield, Brimfield, Warren, and other surrounding areas served by Behavioral Health Network.
“It means so much to those folks who are struggling to know that our community cares and is willing to be generous with their time and money during the busy holiday season to provide these gifts,” said Jean Frater, program director for Children and Youth Services at Behavioral Health Network. “Because of these donations, we have supplied toys and gifts to over 25 families. It may seem like a small kindness, but it grows bigger in the hearts of those who are suffering.”