More than 300 children received holiday presents Monday at the St. John’s Episcopal Hospital annual toy grab-and-go event in Far Rockaway.
Through its recently established St. John’s ICARE Foundation, the gifts were generously donated by hospital staff, the public, and the global toy and entertainment company Spin Master which sent Chase — the German Shepherd from the popular children’s television show “Paw Patrol” — who was on hand to meet, greet and pose for photos with the children, and to distribute presents and books. Chase made a surprise visit to the St. John’s Medica lGroup’s pediatric practice located at 495 Beach 19th St.
“It brings us great joy to know that we are able to give back to the communities we serve, especially during the holidays,” St. John’s ICARE Foundation Executive Director Nancy Leghart said. “The feeling that comes over you when seeing the looks of joy on the faces of children when they receive presents is priceless because you know that you made a positive impact on someone’s life.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic in mind, parents and guardians were able to register for the annual toy distribution through an online form that allotted them a select time to arrive and pick up their gifts.
“This event serves as an example of how St. John’s Episcopal Hospital is more than just a hospital,” St. John’s ICARE Foundation President Renee Hastick-Motes said. “We are an organization that cares about the whole person. Having good health is more than a physical thing, there is also a social component to it as well. I am glad that we are able to not only address the health needs of our community but partner and support those other social determinants of health.”
In addition to raising donations for this year’s Children’s Holiday Annual event, St. John’s ICARE Foundation recently raised $20,000 to provide Doula Care services at no cost to women who give birth at St John’s. To make a donation to the St. John’s ICARE Foundation, visit their website here.