For the second year in a row, East Hills resident Jami Goodman has donated numerous toys and gifts to Schneider Hospital's Children's Medical Fund.
This year's toy drive, which began in the spring was, according to Jami's mother, Kim Goodman, even more successful than the 2007 charity drive.
Beginning in March, Jami sets up a lemonade stand by her home, located near the East Hills School. The stand is complete with a large sign proclaiming that all proceeds go the Schneider Children's Hospital. When the lemonade sales drive ends, Jami's parents and grandparents donate matching funds. Jami and her parents then go to a local Toys 'R' Us to buy the gifts.
"This year I raised $245 on my own so I got to buy $500 worth of presents," Jami said. "We got 51 toys this year. I had fun wrapping all of them and going to the hospital with my dad in December to hand them out."
According to Jami's mother, the $245 that Jami raised this year was significantly higher than the $100 she raised in 2007. This was due to the fact that more people have gotten to know Jami, plus they are aware of what the lemonade stand is all about.
"[The sign] makes people happy because they can donate to the charity, too," Jami said. "I go out every day I can, unless it is raining or snowing."
"Donating to the hospital is part of my daily routine," Jami further explained. "In the morning, do you brush your teeth? Yes, you do. It is just part of something you must do.
"This is my second year donating," she continued. "During the holidays, kids like to spend time with their families. If they are in the hospital, they can't. Doctors and nurses try hard to keep this from happening. But, they can't cure every kid. So I try as hard as I can to make those kids as happy as I can.
"Pretend you had a family trip to go to Los Angeles," she said. "You are so exited and you have been waiting for this time of year since last January. About three days before the trip you get a contagious disease. You are upset that you will be in the hospital for your vacation and the holidays. Giving the toys to the kids will make them feel better.
"I started to get into it because of my dad," Jami added. "He is in the CMF program. It stands for Children's Medical Fund. This helps the hospital and the children. I always wanted to be part of it. So I decided to start my own fund.
"I always get letters and certificates of appreciation from the people at the hospital," Jamie concluded. "This makes me feel so good that people notice my work. This is a big part of who I am and I know I will keep doing this for a very long time."