MAHONING TOWNSHIP — Christmas came a little early today at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville. A family from Hazleton delivered thousands of dollars’ worth of toys they collected in a toy drive. The toy drive was in memory of their daughter.
Those toys will be given to kids on Christmas morning.
Angela Bartol of Hazleton knows what it is like to spend holidays at the hospital. Her 6-year-old daughter Audrianna had cancer and was in and out of Janet Weis Children’s Hospital near Danville for over four years.
“Her wish for Christmas was that all the other kids in the hospital had presents Christmas morning. Three years ago, this was her dream to start a toy drive and keep it going.”
Audrianna’s family and friends delivered around 25 boxes of toys to Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.
“When you’re in this hospital all the time, you don’t have time to go Christmas shopping. The donations that come in, everything helps,” Bartol said.
Right before Christmas, parents will be able to look through the toys and choose which ones they want for their children. Not just the ones who are staying in the hospital, either. After that, staff at Geisinger Medical Center will wrap all of the toys and have them ready for Christmas morning.
“This is an amazing impact. It’s going to help out our holiday toy shop and make sure all of our families and kids and siblings have toys throughout the holiday season,” said Sarah Hoffman of Geisinger Medical Center .
In addition to the toy drive, Audrianna’s Wish held a luncheon at the hospital where volunteers got into the Christmas spirit.
“I have wonderful children at home, and thank God I’m doing this instead of visiting my children over the holidays. It’s the right thing to do,” said Chris Stasko of Nanticoke.
Audrianna’s Wish brought gifts for all of the children who are patients at the hospital.
“I think it’s fantastic. We’ve been here for two days and it’s been a very long two days. I have an older daughter as well who is 4 and a half, so this was a really fun treat for her,” said Lyndsay Nybeck of Munson.
“I think Audrianna would say this is awesome and that we did a great job,” Bartol said.