It's easy to brighten the day of a child with cancer—it's as simple as dropping a toy in a bin.
Oak Forest residents can help out this holiday season, by contributing to the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation's annual toy drive.
Founded by Oak Forest resident Colleen Kisel, Treasure Chest is a non-profit organization that provides children and teens diagnosed with cancer with toys, gifts or giftcards to 42 hospitals in 13 states.
Sixteen years ago, Kisel dreamed of an organization that provides children undergoing cancer treatments with much-needed distraction and levity. After watching her 7-year-old son Martin undergo four years of treatment for leukemia, she learned firsthand the role a toy could play.
Toys helped him through 18 spinal taps and nine bone marrow aspirations in four years, she said. And toys returned her life to normal after his cancer had been put into remission.
The toys are kept at the hospitals in either chests or cabinets to help children from birth to 18 years old ease their pain during simple procedures such as blood tests to more painful procedures like spinal taps and surgeries.
The foundation accepts board games, snap-together building blocks, action figures, jewelry, nail polish, DVDs, CDs, art supplies, dolls, coloring books and more. The foundation does not accept stuffed animals.
All donations can be brought to Oak Forest City Hall, 15440 S. Central Avenue, and dropped into the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation donation bin. For more information about the foundation, visit its website.
Looking for other ways to donate this holiday season? Be sure to check out Patch's Ways to Give.