Every first weekend in December for the last 4 years, I've spent shivering, soaking wet, and mainly smiling, as we fill a tractor trailer full of toys for 911 Give Hope For The Holidays.  I love participating in this 60-hour marathon of collecting supplies for local hospitals, but never knew just how closely it would affect me until this week.

For 4 years, I've talked about the pain of having your child in the hospital, and the way it brightens their day to receive a new toy.  I could only guess this to be true, until my 9-month-old son was admitted to Methodist Hospital this week for a viral infection that had him running fevers as high as 103.5 and struggling with breathing.  Less than 10 minutes after we arrived in the room, a nurse returned with a stuffed bear and a toy train for my little man.  A tear came to my eyes because I knew immediately where those toys came from.

In the second day of our stay, a nurse came in with a new toy.  'I've been waiting for somebody special to give this to,' she said.  'I think he'll like this.'

And he did.  Right after I gave him the toy, he began shaking it back and forth and laughing like he wasn't even sick anymore.  It was truly a break from the strangers in masks and gowns coming through his door to poke and prod him constantly.  That's what a simple toy can do.

When I said something to the nurse about our involvement, she pointed over to the corner, 'See that high chair he just ate in?  Henderson Chevrolet bought that.'  Indeed they, did, as you can see the high chair in the red box in the picture above.

It's a full-circle experience for me, and now I understand the importance of what we do just prior to Christmas.  I just want to thank you, who donated this year, and every year to 911 Gives Hope for the Holidays, and to all the Police, Fire, and EMT's that volunteer their time, as well as my peers and co-workers, Henderson Chevy, and all the sponsors.  What we do makes a difference, and I can vouch for that!

Eric Cornish
Eric Cornish

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