Girls collect donations for CHKD

Published 9:55 pm Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Two teenagers, who spent their fair share of time in hospitals, are doing what they can to help a local children’s hospital this Christmas. There are some, however, who would have their efforts be for naught.

Jillian Goodwin and her friend, Margaret Minium, began a drive to provide the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters with toys, DVDs and movies, art supplies and books. Last week, they set out bins and posters at three Hampton Roads businesses, but, as of Monday, they had not received any new donations. In fact, someone had taken the toys Goodwin had donated.

She said she checked on them Monday and “Nothing else was gone, but nothing new was there either.”

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The girls decided to do the drive in late November.

“It was the week before Thanksgiving — me and [Margaret] decided we wanted to do something for other people this Christmas,” Goodwin said. “We were going to do Operation Christmas Child, but we missed the deadline.”

The girls got the idea to do the toy drive because they both know it’s like to spend too much time in the hospital playroom.

Goodwin has been in and out of hospitals since she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was 7 weeks old, and Minium’s father was diagnosed with cancer when she was young.

“It’s not that the hospitals don’t want to give the kids fun. It’s just that they have more important things to be spending their money on,” Goodwin said.

And while medical supplies are key to recovery, art supplies and toys are important too. “The art therapy was just as important [to Jill],” said Jillian’s mother. “As her mom, I noticed [when she was drawing] she could just loose herself. It was a diversion.”

“[Playing with toys and making art work] are an outlet. All morning you’re swamped with treatments and medical stuff. When you get to color or something, it’s a relief,” Goodwin said.

Unfortunately, “the toys at hospitals have a lot of wear and tear,” she said. “At CHKD, their favorite toy of mine was the game Life. But it only had two cars and two girls — but there were 20 boys! So, if you’re going to play only two people can play, and you have to be a boy.”

So, to help the children of CHKD have a better Christmas, the girls have been hard at work trying to organize the toy drive. While they ran in to many closed doors among local businesses, after Monday’s theft, the girls increased their effort and three more businesses opened their doors to the girls.

Please visit any of the listed locations to donate used or new toys, books, G-rated movies or DVDs, or art supplies:

Java Café at Harbour View Marketplace

Ugly Mug Coffee on Centerbrooke Lane

Fire Mountain Grill on Main Street