The Bottomless Toy Chest elves visit peds patients

The Bottomless Toy Chest founder and chief elf, Mickey Guisewite, helps 3-year old Gabirella Smith to find the perfect present.

Published: Dec. 20, 2012

Pediatric Patients in the Sparrow Children's Center received a surprise this week when their playroom was turned into Santa's toy shop.

Chests delivered by the elves of The Bottomless Toy Chest, a Michigan based non-profit organization, overflowed with stuffed animals, books, craft kits, Legos, remote-controlled cars, dolls, movies and more. The gifts were collected through toy drives, individual and corporate donations, as well as fund-raisers.

Each child was able to select a toy and a stuffed bee from the chests. For those unable to make it to the playroom, elves set off with a wagon full of toys to make room service calls.

"We love this! What better thing than to deliver smiles to these kids when they need it most," said Mickey Guisewite, founder/Executive Director of The Bottomless Toy Chest. "Something as simple as a new toy will make the ordeal these brave children face every day just a little easier and can give them the will and strength to fight back."

Brand new toys are donated to the Bottomless Toy Chest which then gift wraps them in cellophane and makes deliveries to select hospitals in Michigan.

Sparrow Children's Center Director, Dr. Stephen Guertin, MD, notes, "These kids are going through a lot. So are their families. The holidays can get lost in the middle of all the tests, medicines, and treatment. Once you give them a few minutes with the chance to pick any toy they want you see their spirits rise. They go from one reality to another better place. That's pretty good medicine....for all of us"

The Bottomless Toy Chest is devoted to delivering art projects, crafts and interactive toys to hospitalized pediatric cancer patients. Its mission is to lift the spirits and promote a positive state of mind in young cancer patients.

For more than a century, Sparrow has been a leader in caring for children. The first hospital in mid-Michigan to offer a dedicated children's unit, Sparrow today is home to the region's only full-service pediatric emergency department. As the region's Children's Miracle Network hospital, Sparrow is able to provide families the most advanced technology and treatment options in pediatric and neonatal care.