The holiday season is upon us, and employees of the Plainview Water District and its board of commissioners have joined forces with "Toys For Sick Children," a non-profit organization that provides toys to sick and less fortunate children in local hospital pediatric wards and shelters. In order to help brighten a child's holiday, the water district is seeking the donation of new unwrapped toys. Residents interested in contributing should bring their donation to the Plainview Water District offices, at 10 Manetto Hill Road, by 4 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 16.
Since 1992, Toys For Sick Children has collected over 70,000 new toys during its annual toy drive. In addition, the organization provides larger items such as televisions, VCRs, video games, art and craft supplies, high chairs and strollers, to hospitals and child-care facilities in the New York area.
"I would like to commend the residents of Plainview-Old Bethpage for enthusiastically supporting our previous toy drives," stated Bernard Chetkof, chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Plainview Water District. "Toys For Sick Children is an excellent organization and each year they do a phenomenal job bringing joy to less fortunate children situations. We will continue to do our best to help Toys For Sick Children in its efforts."
Toys For Sick Children was coordinated by John Theissen, who at the age of 17 and recovering from surgery on a brain tumor, befriended a 7-year-old girl being treated for leukemia. During his recovery he noticed her loneliness and on the day of the hospital's Christmas party, Theissen remembered the little girl excitedly anticipating her family joining her for the festivities. When her parents did not show, Theissen asked his parents to take the young girl to the party, where she told Santa all she wanted for Christmas was a teddy bear for her friend John. After leaving the hospital, Theissen never again saw the girl but her memory still remained in his heart.