You did it again!! We collected even more toys than last year - close to 600 toys were donated in memory of our Katie! We also received many monetary donations, which helped greatly in putting together this special day.
Again this year there were more toys than there are children in St. Christopher's, so some toys will be going to area children in need, to help them have a Merry Christmas, too. We are sure Katie is beaming with pride: she knows that the love you have for her helped to make this a great Christmas for so many children.
Again the men and women of Engine 55 Ladder 22 and Medic 39 and their families, along with Katie's family, plus Santa, two Rudolph's, and Sponge Bob, met at the firehouse to get the day started. They put together baskets of goodies for all of the nurses stations, and then loaded up the fire trucks with the toys and goodies and headed over to St. Christopher's. Katie's brother Paul and cousin Shane hopped on the Ladder and the Engine, with Katie's picture on the front leading the way. This year the news was there to cover our arrival!
Santa and his reindeer got in the snorkel; (that's the bucket on the fire truck), and were lifted up to the window of the 4th floor playroom. The kids were so excited; they were waving at Santa and singing Christmas Carols. Then Santa made his way up there, with his very own sleigh, to give out the presents. (The sleigh was made by one of the hospital workers for this event. It was beautiful, and so filled with toys that Santa had to walk!) Then all of us traveled to each floor to give out the presents to the kids that had to stay in bed. It's Santa's time of year, but Sponge Bob was the crowd favorite! He had many requests to visit rooms. And finally, we went to the emergency room to visit the children there.
This is truly a wonderful day and the children are just so happy to have all these visitors and receive such wonderful toys. For a few hours we were able to make them smile and sing and enjoy the party. Your generosity means more than you will ever know.
The firemen began this party for St. Christopher's years ago, buying little gifts to bring to each child. But because of the love for Katie, they have been able to give these kids some truly wonderful gifts. Katie is the driving force behind all of this. She touched so many people and your generosity is proof of that. She will forever be making Christmas special for so many children.
In the coming weeks, be sure to check out www.katieduffin.com for the pictures from this day. And of course, you can always go to www.katieskrusaders.com to see all of the good works we are doing. Each day brings us closer to getting a house build at St. Christopher's.
Thank you all for helping us again this year. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Paul and Terry