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A child’s work is play, but when they’re faced with a difficult experience like hospitalization, it can be easy to forget the importance of play. For 15 years, Timmons Volkswagen and Timmons Subaru of Long Beach have helped keep the play alive for children and teens hospitalized at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach.
Partnering with the Child Life Program at Miller Children’s, Timmons hosts an annual toy drive and car show, playfully named “Toy Jam.” Driving in a caravan from Timmons of Long Beach to the parking lot at Miller Children’s, dozens of Volkswagen and Subaru owners lined up to create a special car show just for hospitalized patients and their families on Saturday, Oct. 8.
The toys collected and delivered by the car enthusiasts are given to children to help celebrate the holidays. They also are used year round as patient birthday gifts, rewards for bravery after a treatment or procedure, and to offer fun and distracting play opportunities in a patient room or one of the hospital playrooms.
“While no one wants to be in the hospital, we continually try to create an environment for our patients and families that is fun, engaging and child friendly, says Rita Goshert, manager, Child Life Program, Miller Children’s. “This time of year, our toy supply dwindles and each year Toy Jam helps replenish our stock. Something simple like a toy can make all the difference in the type of experience a child has while in the hospital.”
As part of the hospital’s Child Life Program, Miller Children’s has three playrooms, where young patients and their families can spend time having fun, while taking their minds off hospitalization. Child Life Specialists ensure that throughout Miller Children’s, patients are given an outlet to play and work through feelings they have related to their treatment.
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