It's beginning to look a lot like
Christmas......Christmas in July that is. For the last 5 years
Scotty's Brewhouse has been collecting toys for children who are at
Riley's Children's Hospital. While Christmas is a huge time for
donations the summer months can be challenging as the hospital
tries to give hope to the many children they are
"You know how you always
have that feeling around Christmas and Thanksgiving, when people
are helping others and embracing the spirit of giving, where you
find yourself saying, 'why can't we do this year round?" said Scott
Wise, President and CEO of a Pots and Pans Production. "I was tired
of thinking that way; but, not acting and doing something about
"Often the toys we bring, don't all get handed out during our
visit. A good thing for 2 reasons: 1) it means there
aren't a lot of children in the ward we are visiting, 2) they are
able to stock up their "toy closet" to help many months after we
leave to keep the children's smiles coming…"
For the entire month of June all Scotty's locations will begin
accepting donations of toys that will be delivered to the hospital
in July. Guests who donate a toy will receive a coupon for a free
order of dill chips on their next visit.
"Our guests are the ones that deserve a lot of
credit, as they are the ones that donate all the toys the month
leading up to us delivering. I wish I could share the smiles
from the children AND the parents, grandparents and others in the
room with all our guests that donate. If you would have heard
the 3 year old girls yell, 'Baaaaaaaarbie', you too would have had
a tear run down your cheek and you'd understand why I now do this
twice a year," said Wise reflecting on his experience delivering
gifts this past Christmas.
While the average stay at Riley varies with each
child and their diagnosis a simple toy can give them hope and make
their time in the hospital a little better.
"Some children are here for 23 hours, some are here
for a few days, others can be here a month or longer. Often
children are here for a few days, but may be readmitted several
times throughout their life," Said Melissa Sexton, Child Life
Specialist & Special Event Coordinator for Riley Hospital.
At the end of June all the toys will be combined and
a group of employees from Scotty's will deliver them to some of the
children in the hospital. Any toys that are left over will be
stored at the hospital and given out to future patients.
"It is an incredible experience to be one of the
people who deliver these toys," said Eric Schamp, Chief Operating
Officer. "We didn't want to just drop these off at the door and go
on our way, we wanted to hand deliver these to help show these
young children that someone cares."
If you would like to make a donation some of the
favorite toys for children are Legos, craft kits and anything
Fisher Price. You can also visit Riley's website there are ways
to give back financially, ways to donate items to the hospital, and
information about volunteering at the hospital.
"The patients and their families make my job
amazing-they all have such a resilient spirit and face challenges
head on. I love being able to provide opportunities for them
to feel "normal" again," continued Sexeton.
If you would like to drop off a toy you can visit any
Scotty's Brewhouse, Lakehouse, Thr3e Wise Men or Burger Joint
location. Just let the host know you have a toy you would like to