Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Lee White hauls a new bike into Kootenai Health on Monday as he and other police personnel and employees from Les Schwab deliver goodies as part of the Coeur d'Alene Police Foundation Children's Hospital Toy Drive.
Monday was a happy day at Kootenai Health as Les Schwab employees and Coeur d'Alene Police personnel tuck presents under the tree for young patients.
Coeur d'Alene Police Patrol Officer Kristin Finnigan carries a sack of toys into Kootenai Health on Monday. The toys will fill Andrea's Closet, a program to provide prizes and goodies for pediatric patients during their stays in the hospital.
Staff Writer | December 21, 2021 1:08 AM
COEUR d’ALENE — Baby Yoda, bicycles and a custom Power Wheel that's a mini replica of a Coeur d’Alene Police Ford Explorer will bring joy to pediatric patients in the next year.
The fun doesn't stop there.
On Monday, Coeur d’Alene Police personnel and employees of Les Schwab Tire Center delivered an abundance of toys and goodies to fill Andrea’s Closet, a program of Kootenai Health that gives toys to children in the hospital’s care.
"We provide little prizes for kids after they go through painful procedures, if they need to be cheered up," pediatric nurse manager Adriane Golob said. "They get to pick out a prize. We rotate the toys throughout the year and restock so they pick out whatever they like.”
It was a successful year for the Coeur d'Alene Police Foundation Children's Hospital Toy Drive, which collected roughly $25,000 in funds and items to support children's programs at Kootenai Health and Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane. Toys will be delivered to Sacred Heart today.
"I am always so blown away by the generosity of the community and the police department and Les Schwab,” Golob said. "This provides the amount of toys that we need for a year for all of our pediatric patients in the community. Every year it gets bigger and more generous. I’m always speechless about the generosity.”
Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. S.C. Avriett started this generous gesture more than six years ago. He said this year, "we've done more, collected more, we had more donors for the foundation."
"Kids in our community deserve it," he said. "Kids who are not going to be able to be home over the holidays, they deserve to be spoiled. And if we can help make their Christmas a little brighter, especially if they’re in the hospital, that’s what we want to do. We want to give back to our community and take care of the kids who are in a place they probably don’t want to be."
Les Schwab, Numerica Credit Union, Hayden Walmart, Nutrishop, Cosmic Cowboy and Anchored Coffee all contributed to the drive, Avriett said, along with numerous kind hearts in the community.
"It just continues to grow and it’s awesome," he said.