A Halloween Idea From Zoe’s Corner!

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While purchasing party supplies or costumes this fall, please consider shopping at Spirit Halloween stores.   Click on this link to find your printable coupon which will provide 10% off your in-store purchase.  And, for every coupon redemption, Spirit Halloween will match the 10% savings by donating that amount to Tallahassee Memorial Pediatric Services Child Life Department.

You can also shop online at SpiritHalloween.com and enter the promo code CHILDLIFE during checkout to receive the same discount and donation to the hospital without even leaving your home!

Please help us pass on this information to anyone who might be on the hunt for this year’s Halloween costume!  Saving money and helping children; what could be a better combination?!

 

Our Toy Drive Was a Success!

with the TMH Foundation staff

Last Friday was a big day!  We finally delivered the gift bags and toys to the Pediatrics Department at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital!

We loaded up all 50 of the gift bags and the extra boxes of toys and stuffed animals (as well as all 3 of my kids) and headed over to the hospital.

this is only about half of the bags we made!The car was completely stuffed, and that was a GREAT thing, especially considering we had already made an impromptu stop 2 weeks earlier to drop off some of the larger items for the playroom!

Luckily, I remembered to call the head of the TMH Foundation to warn her of the number of things we would be bringing with us, so she and the head of Pediatric donations were waiting for us in the parking garage with several carts!

We followed them upstairs with the toys and snapped a few photos of the different areas where the toys and gifts will be used!

In front of the hospital treasure chest

In front of the playroom with some of the gift bags

As we went into the playroom, we saw that there were several children playing in there.  Since the kids were too young to actually go into patient rooms, we didn’t think they would get to see anyone receiving the bags.  But because the sick children were in the playroom, bags were immediately handed out!

the staff handing gifts to the girl patients

the kids handing a bag to a boy patient

They were very excited to be able to give a present personally and that quickly became the best part of the day!  It always warms my heart to see my kids being genuinely happy to help others (all the parents out there can attest to the fact that generosity is not always the first thing on a child’s mind, so it is a blessing when the caring spirit comes out, especially right at the appropriate time!).

We were so overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone that donated items and money for this cause!  We can’t thank you enough for supporting us and from just one look at the few kids we saw that day, we can tell the bags and toys will be a great hit!

Thanks again for helping make our toy drive a huge success!  We can’t wait to start another charitable venture very soon!

Store Suggestions

As promised,  here is a list of stores that have good discounts on smaller items for the toy drive!  Please help us spread the word!

  • Borders – they are currently going out of business so even their clearance items are an additional 25% off the already marked down price and they have great books for all ages (babies – teenagers).
  • Dollar Tree – everything is $1 and many things come in packs of more than one item, making it an even better deal (ex. bubbles, crayons, dress- up clothes, action figures, cars, dolls, etc.).
  • Target – in the front of every Target store you can find a section of items priced at either $1 or $2.50 each and most of these items are kid-related.  You can also find a small area within the toy department with discount toys and balls, as well as bargain dvds for all ages).
  • Burlington Coat Factory – in the “Baby Depot” section of the store, you will find a 99¢ display with small baby items such as rattles, socks, and books.  You can also find discount a toy section nearby.
  • Walmart – in addition to their ‘value’ section of toys (meaning those specifically priced from $1-$5), you can also find multipacks of toys with the birthday party favors, as well as bargain dvds for all ages.
  • Toys ‘R Us – this is not always the first place you would think to go for bargain toys, but they too have a bargain section of toys priced from $1-$5, usually near the front of the store.
  • Michaels – each store has a ‘fun finds’ section with toys and crafts for kids, all $5 and under, in addition to their great sale items.  You can also usually find a 40% off coupon online to print before you go.
  • Barnes and Noble/Books a Million – both stores have fantastic clearance sections for kids and teens!
  • Joann Fabrics – you can find  a bargain section with various items in each store, as well as $1 section in the front by the registers.  You can also usually find a good % off coupon online to print before you go.
  • Oriental Trading Company – if you aren’t one to go bargain hunting at the store, you can search this website for thousands of ideas for inexpensive purchases in bulk.

This is list we have compiled so far, but if you have any additional ideas for us, please let us know and we will add them to this list!  Thanks!

Our Toy Drive is Officially Underway!

September 30th is the magical date for delivery of our goody bags and toys to the children of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.  We chose this specific date as it is Mikey’s birthday and what better way to celebrate than to help others?!   We will begin taking any donations immediately and we wanted to share with you a list of sample items currently needed by the Pediatrics Department.*

  • Infants: rattles of any kind (plastic or vinyl); black and white baby books, baby flash cards; black and white stuffed animals; baby mirrors; foam puzzles; onesies; infant socks; mobiles; and plastic baby toys.
  • Toddler/Preschool: musical light-up toys; talking books, I spy books, pop-up books; glitter wans; small/medium blankets (boy and girl); Lego and block sets; toy trucks and cars; small/medium stuffed animals; crayons and coloring books.
  • Elementary School/Pre-Teen/Teen: playing cards; card games; activity books (Sudoku, crosswords, word searches); X-box games; Nintendo 64 games; PG and PG 13 pre-teen and teen movies; books; age-appropriate magazines for boys and girls; arts and crafts supplies; pens and pencils.
  • Other Toy Chest Items: small stuffed animals; play jewelry; baby dolls; small puzzles; matchbox cars; Barbie dolls; action figures; play dough; bubbles; small/medium Nerf balls; rubber balls.

These requests are basic suggestions, but we would appreciate anything, even if not specifically on this list.  Our goal is to make at least 10 gift bags for each age group and to donate at least 10 items directly for the Toy Chest.  I know we can meet our goal, and hopefully surpass it, with your help.  Whether you would like to make a financial contribution to help with our shopping expenses (now possible via paypal) or if you would like to purchase items yourself and send them to us for the bags, EVERYTHING helps! 

We will have a list of stores that have good prices on the smaller gift items very soon, for those of you who may be on a tight budget like me, but still want to send a little something!  Also, if you know a small business owner that would be willing to donate gift bags or promotional items for our cause, please let us know! 

Thanks again for your support and for helping us spread the word about Mikey’s Helping Place!  We are so excited about this project!  Please email us at mikeyandzoe@comcast.net if you have any further questions!

*For infection control purposes, all gift toys must be brand new.