The 2017 annual Toy Drive for Children’s Hospital New Orleans brought together the Brother Martin community to show the true meaning of giving during the Christmas season. The NJROTC, working with local volunteers, has organized the toy drive for Brother Martin for many years. This year, the Student Ministers joined to help provide more ideas and help for our most successful toy drive in years.
Cadet Francisco Garcia ‘18, a member of both NJROTC and Student Ministers, kicked off the drive right after the Thanksgiving break with an announcement and challenge to meet our goal of 500 toys. Students could earn two community service hours for donating ten or more new, unwrapped toys. Generous donations throughout the school came in to help Children’s Hospital. For the first time, Student Ministers organized a t-shirt and tennis shoe day. Students could bring in one toy or pay $5.00 for the dress down day. In addition to bringing in additional toys, the school raised $2,005.00. The result of the drive this year also brought in more than 600 toys.
Brother Martin is one of many schools in the area that generously donate toys to benefit the hospital year round. Working with Children’s Hospital, the school used the money raised to purchase a PlayStation 4 Virtual Reality system and five hospital grade infant mobiles. “This game system is going to help kids that can’t get to the playroom or that might need some motivation to get their spirits up,” said Ms. René Guilbeau, Director, Child Life & Creative Therapies at Children’s Hospital.
The toys collected are distributed during the holiday party or used in the playrooms for each age group. Toys from this drive also are given out throughout the year. The toys that are not appropriate for Children’s Hospital are donated to other local charities so that no toy goes unused. The generosity of the entire Brother Martin family this year made our drive the most successful to date. Together, we shared the true spirit of Christmas and showed that we are not just a school but a community. Thank you to all of our family and students!