AUGUSTA, Ga. – A hospital can be intimidating for a child, but the distraction of a toy, game, or craft can help a young patient cope. This month radio station 88.3 WAFJ is collecting toys during its Christmas Cheer Tour in an effort to help bring comfort to the nearly 100,000 patients treated at Children’s Hospital of Georgia each year.
“Because play is what children do, and what they know best, toys and games are very important at the Children’s Hospital. They help us distract children during anything from a routine exam to a more painful procedure,” said Mandy Lee, a Child Life Specialist at CHOG. “Patients often have to get blood drawn or an IV placed, and it can be frightening. Our job is to help children better prepare and adjust to their health care environment.”
The Children’s Hospital of Georgia cares for patients from birth to 21 years, so the hospital uses a wide range of toys and activities with patients – from rattles and teething rings to video games and DVDs. Pre-approved gifts are available at various price points on registries at Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys ‘R’ Us. To keep the hospital environment clean for patients, all donations must be new and in the original packaging.
Donations may be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays through Dec. 19 at the 88.3 WAFJ studio at 102 LeCompte Ave. in North Augusta. Or you can take your donation to any of the following stops on this year’s Christmas Cheer Tour:
- Tuesday, Dec. 10: noon to 2 p.m. at Tile Center of Martinez, 3905 Washington Road
- Thursday, Dec. 12: noon to 2 p.m. at Mathnasium of Augusta, 205 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway
- Tuesday, Dec. 17: noon to 2 p.m. at Tile Center of Aiken, 2582 Whiskey Road
- Thursday, Dec. 19: noon to 2 p.m. at Mathnasium of Evans, 4219 Washington Road
More information about the Christmas Cheer Tour and links to the toy registries can be found at wafj.com or by calling Station Promotions Director Jill Johnston at 803-819-3125.
“We use toys to replenish our playrooms, for prizes, and for celebrations so we go through a lot of toys at the Children’s Hospital. We are always in need of toys here,” Lee said. “Because we are a not-for-profit hospital, we rely on the generosity of donations from the community. We are very thankful to 88.3 WAFJ and its listeners for choosing to support the Children’s Hospital of Georgia through the Christmas Cheer Tour.”
“We are excited to connect our listeners with the important work of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia during the year’s Christmas Cheer tour. We’re expecting many will respond generously with a collection of toys that will help keep the hospital shelves filled. We’re thrilled to be part of the healing process in such a practical way,” said Steve Swanson, Station Manager.
The 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the second-largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children.
88.3 WAFJ is the CSRA’s only local Contemporary Christian Music station. Part of the community since 1994, 88.3 WAFJ daily encourages listeners with positive and encouraging music the whole family can enjoy together.