For a child coming to the hospital can be a situation full of anxiety, fear of the unknown and new experience overload. As a 3 year old, Ethan McNeely was thrown into the hospital atmosphere after suffering a stroke in June of 2010. Ethan’s family spent a lot of time between Cabell Huntington Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. Ethan’s sister, Abby, became very involved with his therapy and recovery plan and wanted to make a difference for not only Ethan but the other children that were patients as well. Once home, Abby and her friend Sarah Johnson, along with their families worked together to make their dream and plan for giving back a reality by creating “Ethan’s Toy Box.”
Ethan’s Toy Box is not your typical fundraiser event but more of a “Fun-Raiser” where toys are collected for children who are patients of Hoops Family Children’s Hospital. The goal is to have the community come together to make sure that every patient admitted in Hoops Family Children’s Hospital is provided a toy for comfort and to make their time while in-patient a bit easier. These toys help take the patient’s mind off a scary situation of not knowing what is coming next, allowing them to enjoy the simple joys of childhood.
This year’s special celebration for Ethan’s Toy Box will take place on Friday, August 18th at the Guyan Golf and Country Club pool from 6-9pm.
Everyone in attendance is asked to make a donation of $10 or one toy per person for a future patient’s family. At the event there will be large themed gift baskets raffled off, food, drink and desserts.
“This is the 7th year for Ethan’s Toy Box and I am most impressed with the way the kids have been able to engage a lot of this community to help with their efforts. Abby, Ethan and their family and friends are certainly making a difference at Hoops Family Children’s Hospital,” said Velma Workman, Development Outreach Coordinator with the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation.
This wonderful event goes to show you are never too young to give back and help those in your community. Ethan is now 11 years old and a 6th grader at Barboursville Middle school. Now that he has fully recovered he joins his sister in continuing to grow the dream of “Ethan’s Toy Box.” For more information or to make a donation to this great event and program please follow the link below.