JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The toy room in the surgery center at Niswonger Children’s Hospital is chock-full of toys ready to help cheer up young patients, thanks to funds raised last year by Niswonger Children’s Hospital license tag sales. But the hospital needs help if the program is to continue another year.
Each year, the state of Tennessee must receive at least 1,000 specialty plate orders to keep the program going. So far this year, just over 900 people have registered for a Niswonger Children’s Hospital plate. The program must reach 1,000 registrations by the end of June in order to continue. To order a specialty plate, visit your local county office.
Last year’s tag sales raised more than $2,300 for the children’s hospital, which was used to purchase new toys for surgical patients.
“We allow each child to choose a toy after surgery,” said Chana Kirby, nurse manager of the pre- and post-operative areas at Niswonger. “We tell them ahead of time that they will get a prize, so they have something to look forward to while they’re getting ready for their procedure. It helps to take their mind off any worries they might have and eases the process for them.”
The toys encompass all age groups, from babies to teenagers. Since older patients might not be interested in dolls or Lego blocks, the toy room also includes iTunes gift cards and craft kits.
“We wanted to make sure there was something for everyone,” said Pat Holtsclaw, president of the Mountain States Foundation, which manages the fundraising done through license tag sales. “Every registration we receive helps to ensure that this program will continue to help local children,” Holtsclaw said. “Thank you for showing your support for Niswonger Children’s Hospital.”