Community bands together to save Christmas at St. Joe's

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 2 at 8:15 AM

PHOENIX -- A day after St. Joseph's Hospital said $20,000 worth of toys were stolen from its pediatric unit, community members are banding together to save Christmas for the young patients.

By midday Thursday, the hospital said at least 20 percent of the toys had been replaced, but donations continued to pour in all day.

"We thought maybe a few people would bring things in, but it's been an overwhelming response," said Jessica Bryson, who works in the pediatric unit of the hospital.

After hearing about the theft, the Executive Association of Greater Phoenix, a professional networking organization, decided to pool its resources to help the hospital.

Association member and local toy store owner Kate Tanner said the organization had already arranged for $10,000 worth of toys to be donated by Thursday afternoon.

"We're part of the community and we believe in giving back to the community, because they support us," said Tanner, who owns Kid Stop and Baby Stop toy and furniture stores.

Tanner said many of her manufacturers and suppliers were helping to pitch in.

St. Joseph's staff said they need all the donations they get, as they use the toys year round and could always save extra for next Christmas or donate them to other organizations in need.

Also stolen were several "Starlight Fun Centers," mobile entertainment units equipped with Nintendo and DVD players specially customized for hospital use.

Those units were valued at more than $4,000 each, according to the Starlight Children's Foundation.

The Foundation is asking for the public's help to replace the units. Click here for more information.

 
 

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