Children and Parents go Shopping at Geisinger

GEISINGER MEDICAL CENTER -- With Christmas only a few days away, some of us are scrambling to finish our last-minute shopping. But for some parents, that is next to impossible if their children are in the hospital. Luckily for them, Geisinger Medical Center makes Christmas shopping a little easier.

Chloe Watts, age 7, of Berwick, and her mom Julie came to Geisinger Medical Center near Danville for a procedure. When they left the hospital, they had a bag filled with toys.

"It's just overwhelming," Julie said.

Chloe is one of many children who got to shop at Geisinger's toy shop.

Toy donations throughout the year are available so the children who are in the hospital over Christmas get to pick out presents.

"Be able to choose what they want and just kind of alleviate some of that stress from their hospitalization or appointments," said Courtney Sulfridge, Geisinger Child Life Services.

This year the hospital did several smaller toy shops and one large toy shop. Employees say so far, more than 100 children got to shop.

Volunteers help make the toy shops successful.

Renae Dymond had a special reason for volunteering. Four years ago her nephew was here over Christmas and the toy shop was a blessing to her family.

"It was huge. They were very stressed because of a new illness and Christmastime. Also, it wasn't just for him that they told him to get toys, it was also for his brother," Dymond said.

"I think it's amazing," Julie Watts added. "Geisinger has helped her in so many ways and this is just one more right before the holidays."

There are toy shops at each of Geisinger Medical Center's campuses.