For the past 10 years, Vicki and Earl Slater have decorated their house, put out drinks and desserts and invited their friends and family over for their annual holiday party. The catch? Each guest is asked to bring a toy to be donated to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital (UMCH).
When the tradition started years ago, the Slaters had a simple goal in mind: to help the less fortunate. Years later, with a daughter-in-law working at UMMC as a respiratory therapist and a swath of their own young grandchildren, the donation has taken on a new meaning.
“When the kids were little, we thought about how important it was that the kids are healthy,” Vicki said.
The Slaters not only want to spread good will and joy, they also want to help families during difficult times. That’s why they donate to UMCH each year.
The Slaters dropped off the toys in time for the UMCH Snow Pile event, a toy workshop set up for parents and families of patients. Shoppers pick out toys for their sick loved ones for free, which often gives families at the hospital peace of mind knowing that they don’t have to scramble for gifts.
The same day the Slaters dropped off their donation, Ray Bachman of the Kamryn Lambert Foundation dropped off another generous donation—more than 100 Pillow Pets!
Bachman has been involved with giving for the past five years, and always seems to outdo the last year. Not only did he bring the Pillow Pets this year, he also brought enough batteries to power the electronic ones.
And that wasn’t all from the Kamryn Lambert Foundation. The very next week they dropped off another sizeable collection of toys, separated in large boxes by age appropriateness.
Even some members of the representatives from local and state government came out to support the Children’s Hospital. Members of the District 25 Team came for a visit, bringing a van full of toys and good cheer for all: Council Member Mel Franklin, District 9; State Delegate Darryl Barnes, District 25; Delegate Angela Angel, District 25; Delegate Dereck Davis, District 25; State Senator Ulysses Currie, District 25; and Phylicia Henry, Chief of Staff to Del Darryl Barnes.
Staff at the local Hampton Inn donated all sorts of toys, ranging from board games and coloring books to popular throwbacks like Slinkys. Daniel Thron, Sales Manager at the Hampton Inn, brought the toys over.
Thank you to all of the wonderful donors this holiday season. Thanks to you, the Children’s Hospital is able to keep Snow Pile going for another year.
The deadline for this year’s Snow Pile donations has passed; however, the Children’s Hospital collects in-kind donations year-round. Your generous support gives all of our patients something to smile about.
To learn more about how you can support the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital patients and programs, please visit http://umm.edu/programs/childrens/about/how-to-help and www.ummsfoundation.org
(L-R) Delegate Darryl Barnes, State Senator Ulysses Currie, Delegate Dereck Davis and Council Member Mel Franklin