Court Officer George Patterson joined colleagues in giving gifts to kids at the Hospital for Sick Children, a year after he and his family experienced a great loss during the holiday season.
His nine-year-old niece, Hailey Van Geel, succumbed to cancer on Dec. 15, 2012.
Patterson suggested the hospital as the recipient of the annual Courts toy drive as a way to honour her memory and recognizing the tremendous strain a sick child can have on a family.
“My little niece was in and out of this hospital before she died here, and I wanted to make a contribution to this facility,” said Patterson, the Court Services DNA Coordinator. “It means a lot to come this year and bring toys for young people who will not be at home for the holidays.”
It means a lot to come this year and bring toys for young people who will not be at home for the holidays
Prisoner Transportation Section (PTS) and Computer Assistance Scheduling of Court (CASC) members raised funds that helped purchase 135 toys, including stuffed bears, colouring books, trucks, Barbie dolls and board games.
On Dec. 19, Patterson along with Court Officers Marva Williams, Michele O’Driscoll and Krystle Malfara; Sabrina Michienzi of CASC and intern Reid Tobiason delivered the toys to the hospital. In the past five years, Court Services has donated Christmas toys to several charities.
“It’s all about putting a smile on the faces of kids at this time of year,” O'Driscoll said. “We are so happy that we can do this for them, as well as George and his family who lost such a young family member a year ago.”