Decatur holds toy drive for hospitalized children


Pim Noparat, Staff Writer

Stephen Decatur High School is holding its first-ever toy drive to support hospitalized children.

Junior Kameron Harris organized the drive, which encourages people to donate new and unused toys for children at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional Hospital in Salisbury. Harris designed posters advertising it, which can be seen around the building. Items being collected are puzzles, coloring books, stuffed animals, dolls, and various other toys from June 9 to June 22.

The donations will go to Brooke’s Toy Closet, an organization that was founded by Brooke Mulford. Brooke was a 12 year-old girl who was diagnosed with a form of cancer called neuroblastoma. She established the toy closet in 2014, which gives sick children who receive care from Peninsula Regional Medical Center a toy to take home. Brooke passed away in 2017 after her battle with cancer.

Brooke’s Toy Closet currently has two locations after TidalHealth recently expanded the foundation to Seaford, Delaware at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.

Laurie Chetelat, a Decatur history teacher and adviser of service club Connections, says the toy drive will benefit children by providing a distraction to their illnesses.

“The toys will hopefully give comfort to kids in hospitals, from those with small surgeries to those with more serious illnesses like cancer. It’ll take their mind off of where they are,” she said. Toys are also being collected in Chetelat’s classroom, A175 in the history hallway.

Although Decatur’s toy drive ends on June 22, Brooke’s Toy Closet accepts donations year-round. As well as several drop-off locations, there is also an Amazon wish list where donors can purchase toys to be shipped to the hospitals.

For more information, contact TidalHealth at 410-543-7140.