Jared Boxes Bring Joy

PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- Members of the King's College baseball team and high school students from the area helped make the day for young patients at Geisinger Wyoming Valley on Thursday morning.

It was all part of the Jared Box Project.

The King's College baseball team is set to hit the diamond in a few days to kick off the 2018 season but carrying some massive bags wasn't part of their spring training.

"It's great to give back to the community," said senior John Wickiser. "Coming here and putting a smile on the kids' faces and being able to see them happy and having a good time, it puts a smile on our faces and makes the team feel good."

Members of the Monarch baseball team came to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital to hand out some of a record 2,000 plus toy boxes for the Jared Box Project.

Jared Boxes is a nonprofit organization formed in 2001 in memory of a former Geisinger patient.

Putting a smile on the faces of children at this hospital near Wilkes-Barre was especially meaningful for Christian Pack. The King's shortstop has undergone six heart surgeries.

"Growing up with my childhood adversity, receiving gifts from family and friends and being able to give back to these kids, just puts things in a lot of different perspectives," Pack said.

Students from the Pocono Mountain and Crestwood School Districts also contributed to the project.

"Putting a smile on their face is honestly amazing to me, knowing my community and school is able to make a kid happy and turn their day around," said Pocono Mountain West senior Lisa Greeley.

Six bags of Jared Boxes were brought to Geisinger Wyoming Valley, and another entire bus full of more bags will go to Geisinger facilities throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

Parents were thrilled to see their kids take a mental break from battling their symptoms to open up the boxes.

"He's been so down and itchy and he can't get out of that funk, so now he's happy and excited," Ayreonia Pappas said.

"It was awesome to see him actually be happy. He can't really go far, but it's awesome that he has stuff that they can bring to him," added Tiffany Jantzi.