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2008: Mickey and Friends Comfort Pediatric Patients at CDH
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Mickey and Friends Comfort Pediatric Patients at CDH

Local Disney store employees donate from their own pockets

WINFIELD, Ill.,  February 7, 2008 – In the true spirit of “VoluntEARs” nearly twenty-five full- and part-time employees of the Stratford Square Mall Disney Store (#6508) came together to donate plush toys to the pediatric patients at Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) in Winfield, Ill.

“We are thrilled to share the magic of Disney with children who are being treated in the hospital,” said project coordinator Debra Jacobs, part-time employee of the Stratford mall store.

Store Manager Pete Chinderle of Joliet and Assistant Manager Julie Pincenti of Schaumburg were on hand to help deliver the collection which included Disney favorites classic and new. “There’s a Goofy, Stitch, Buzz & Woody, Cinderella, Lightning the Car, of course, Mickey Mouse and even Ratatouille,” said Chinderle.

The store “VoluntEARs” program collected the plush toys from employees through November and December. Children from birth to 18 years of age who are patients of Central DuPage Hospital will enjoy the comfort the toys bring.

CDH Child Life Coordinator Sara Muller, MS, CCLS, graciously accepted the donation. “Our affiliation with Children’s Memorial means our pediatric unit is busy all the time. Children no longer have to go into Chicago to access the sub-specialists they need, and as a result, there are few empty beds here,” says Muller.

“The Disney stuffed toys are a wonderful way for us to provide comfort to children coping with their hospitalization. Children of all ages recognize and love the characters from watching movies and visiting the parks so to be able to give them their same favorite Disney character can really help to brighten their spirits while they are in the hospital,” Muller continued. “Disney characters can also help reduce a child’s anxiety of the hospital environment as they have the opportunity to hold onto a comforting familiar toy is reassuring.” Child Life uses donations to help normalize a child’s healthcare experience and offer opportunities for education, self-expression and play.

Central DuPage Hospital offers a full range of inpatient services, including a NICU and a PICU staffed by hospitalists, neonatologists and intensivists around the clock. In the Pediatric Outpatient Center, parents have access to a wide range of experienced pediatric sub-specialists, including those in cardiology, neurology, otolaryngology, allergy/immunology, hematology/oncology, urology and surgery. Central DuPage Hospital also runs a Pediatric Emergency Department staffed by pediatric emergency physicians during select hours each week.

Gifts of cash for this purpose or donated new toys are gratefully accepted. The toys are distributed to pediatric patients all throughout the year. Toys that are especially popular and are on Child Life’s Santa List are: 

  • Infant/toddler toys (musical toys, rattles, crib players, soft cloth toys)
  • Play-Doh
  • Arts/craft supplies
  • Video games (Nintendo Game Cube, Playstation 2)
  • Music CDs (specifically lullaby, Disney, child-appropriate music)

To make a gift or to arrange a new toy drive for your organization, contact Kurt Wolbrink, Central DuPage Hospital Foundation, at 630-933-6989.

 About Central DuPage Hospital

Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 361-bed facility located in Winfield, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago. The collaboration with Children’s Memorial Hospital provides children in the suburbs west of Chicago access to pediatric and neonatal specialists of Children’s Memorial.

The hospital is part of an interdependent network of healthcare organizations and services, including convenient care centers, occupational health services and a full range of options for senior living, home health and hospice care.