Mindy, the childlife specialist we worked with, had sent us a wish list of the things they could use. The infants and toddlers sometimes get forgotten, so they don't get as much stuff donated for those ages. They can ALWAYS use items like portable dvd players, crib mobiles, white noise machines, bouncy seats, and exersaucers. So we tried to focus more on that age group with the money, since we already had a lot of school aged toys donated.
We bought a portable dvd player, some crib mobiles, a preschool computer game (also requested), a ride-on spinning zebra toy for the playroom, some clip-on crib toys that play music and light up, crinkle books, rattles, those little piano toys that have pop-up animals when you push the keys, a couple preschool aged board games, some ball poppers, teethers, battery-operated bubble blowers, books, and batteries (I bet they go through those pretty fast!). It was SO hard to restrain myself from buying MORE...we actually had to put some other stuff back because we went WAY over budget (we even ended up throwing in $100 of our own, too).
Mindy gave us a little tour after we put the toys and wagon in Andrea's Closet. We saw the Forever Young media room, which was SO COOL...Steve Young's Foundation donated over $1 million for it...it has a stage for celebs/groups to perform on, or the kids can make up their own plays & dances. There is even a video camera to record them! There is also a movie screen that drops down, and two huge screen TVs for movie nights, lots of chairs for the audience and room for crafts. I wish I had taken a picture of it! I can just imagine all the fun plays, dance groups, comedians, singers, etc that will be able to perform there for all the kids.
I was so happy to be able to donate all those toys in honor of our little man. I talked to Mindy the next day and she said she had already opened tons of the toys for some of the babies who didn't have anyone to stay with them (it seriously breaks my heart to think of those little ones all alone with no one to hold and love them). She said they loved the toys! I can't wait until next year and I'm already thinking of new themes we can do. They are going to be opening a brand new outside play area in the next year, so we'll probably focus on that for Gavin's 3rd birthday!
Mindy said before we left "You have no idea how much this helps!" and I replied "Oh yes...we really do know. We know all too well." So thank you SO MUCH to everyone who donated! It meant so much to our family. I hope seeing all these pictures and knowing that the toys are being enjoyed is making you happy, too! Such small things can make such a HUGE difference to those who are in the hospital. It gives me SO MUCH happiness thinking of their days being a little easier and brighter because of these toys.