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Christmas is the season of giving and sharing and this year kidsSTRONG celebrated Christmas with zeal and enthusiasm by launching a "Toy Drive" led by our team co-ordinator Aine O'Donovon. More than 300 new, unwrapped toys were collected and donated to the Kaiser Santa Clara Hospital. The toys were beautifully wrapped by a family that was not able to leave the hospital for the holidays. The act of wrapping toys for other stranded families brought them joy. The toys brought an huge smile on the faces of these children who were unable to be at their homes during the holiday season, and this kept the spirit of Christmas alive in the young hearts!

Emily Heffelfinger, The Child Life Specialist at Kaiser Santa Clara Hospital, has shared many stories with us, and this one touched our hearts. She says." One of our patients had asked for the new [Wii] dance game. It was the one thing on her list. We were so excited to have it donated. She ended up getting one from Dad and raved about how fun it was. She was in the week of Christmas but was able to be home for the holiday. Shortly after Christmas day she was admitted with some difficulty moving. We popped in the new Wii game here and she was up and moving in no time. It was great physical therapy! We also have a new patient who will be with us for treatment. She loves dancing. It is something she does all the time but she is no longer allowed to participate due to her illness. Her first day here she got to play the game from her bed and got a good laugh after watching her family members play. It was great to see her laughing on a day that was so tough, filled with procedures and pokes. Hopefully it will keep her dancing even when she cannot. "

For kids who had to stay back at the hospital, kidsSTRONG was there with them to bring in cheer!

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Helen Keller