The smiles were enormous (behind the masks of course) as patients at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital saw Santa Claus pull up on a shiny speedboat filled with toys.
Tommy’s Boats delivered a boatload of toys to the hospital following a Christmas in July toy drive. Their team has been supporting the hospital for several years with similar toy drives and said the toy drive is their favorite work of the season.
“In a time when people might forget about giving back to the community—the middle of the summer—we thought we would pull our staff and customers together for a united cause,” said Staci Chambers, general manager of Tommy’s Boats.
Tommy’s hosts fundraisers year-round for a variety of charities in a program called Tommy’s Cares. This year, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital would be the recipient of their summer initiative.
“This really is amazing,” said Amy Davis, manager of Child Life Services at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “We haven’t been able to host events like this for quite some time. It’s great to see the smiles behind the masks today as kids get to meet Santa and take away a special summertime smile.”
These toys will help the Child Life team throughout the next few months. The extra toys will be handed out for birthdays and other celebrations.
Kids came down one by one and met Santa halfway as he unloaded his bag of toys. Barbie dolls, Play Doh, Legos, arts and crafts supplies, and more were spread out in front of the main entrance and kids took their pick while Santa posed for photos, donning flip flops as it is indeed July.
Remi Veldheer was one of the first kiddos to make it downstairs to see Santa. His face lit up immediately—more so about meeting Santa than the presents he would bring back to his room.
He and several of his friends from the hospital met Santa and his elves that day. And one thing was for sure…the smiles ran deep.