Sch­winky toy drive starts 6th year

Record Observer - - Community - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

STEVENSVILLE — For the sixth year, the Sch­winky fam­ily has or­ga­nized a toy drive where the pub­lic can do­nate toys which are de­liv­ered to chil­dren with spe­cial needs at the Kennedy Krieger In­sti­tute in Bal­ti­more.

The toy drive is in mem­ory of Michael Sch­wink of Gra­sonville who died of melanoma at the age of 23 in June 2009 af­ter fight­ing the can­cer for 18 months. He was a fire­fighter with the United Com­mu­ni­ties Vol­un­teer Fire De­part- ment, played Santa there, and had am­bi­tions to be a pro­fes­sional fire­fighter.

The idea for the toy drive comes from Michael’s fam­ily af­ter he died. Michael had a love for chil­dren, and when he got sick, the fam­ily spent Christ­mas at the hospi­tal.

“So, that was one of the rea­sons for the toy drive — to bring cheer to chil­dren who are stuck in the hospi­tal dur­ing Christ­mas by bring­ing them toys,” said Michael’s brother, Chris Sch­wink of Gra­sonville.

The fam­ily had a kick­off party in Oc­to­ber and peo­ple do­nated toys for the drive there. Now the fam­ily is putting out boxes at dif­fer­ent sites through­out Queen Anne’s County to col­lect toys.

Most boxes should be placed by now at the fol­low­ing lo­ca­tions: • Rams Head in Stevensville • Dol­lar Gen­eral in Stevensville • Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in Centreville • Centreville Ma­sonic Lodge • Unique Cre­ations in Stevensville • Hardee’s in Stevensville • St. Christo­pher’s Church in Ch­ester, where there’s break­fast with Santa on Dec. 3 • Pour House Pub in Ch­ester There will be a box at the United Com­mu­ni­ties Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment dur­ing the week of Dec. 3 to Dec. 9, when the fire depart­ment pro­vides Santa Rides. The Santa Work­shop is driven through the com­mu­nity and peo­ple can get a pic­ture with Santa.

The do­nated toys should be un­wrapped and in­tended for ages from new­born to 18. Ex­am­ples of the toys to do­nate in­clude crayons, col­or­ing books, DVDs, ac­tion fig­ures, toy cars and trucks and baby dolls.

The fam­ily will col­lect the toys with the last day be­ing Dec. 15. Then the toys are gath­ered and de­liv­ered to the PACT unit at the Kennedy Kr­ie­gar In­sti­tute for the chil­dren at no cost. “It helps bring cheer to those in the hospi­tal,” Sch­wink said.

Chil­dren who are well enough can pick out their toys at the hospi­tal. Nurses, who are as­signed a sec­tion of patients, can choose toys for their child patients. Or fam­ily mem­bers are al­lowed to choose toys for their chil­dren at the hospi­tal. Also, they can choose toys for the pa­tient’s sib­lings so they have a Christ­mas, too.

Last year, more than 3,300 toys were given to the chil­dren.

MICHAEL SCH­WINK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.