SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Families are getting back into their day-to-day routine with the start of school, but it's not so easy for children who are currently in the hospital.
When our Surprise Squad learned about one local medical center in need of donations, they had to step in.
"Throughout the year, we utilize all the toys, restocking the playroom, giving toys out for birthdays, and for hard things they do, like surgery and other procedures," Meghan Brewer, a Child Life Specialist for Baystate Medical Center, tells us.
Things that can be really scary without the comforts of home.
"They're here. They're not feeling well. Kind of in unfamiliar territory," stated Baystate employee Jennifer Moccio.
So when the Western Mass News and Big Y Surprise Squad saw the list of things the pediatric units needed at Baystate Medical Center, we made sure we checked off all the items.
"By August, September we're really running low on a lot of things," explained Brewer.
Things like rattles, pacifiers, cards, and coloring supplies to name just a few.
"We have our inpatient Children's Unit, our ICU, NICU, our outpatient, so, our Child Life Department, they make sure the toys get to all areas of our hospital," says Moccio.
All areas we covered to try and help the kids who need it most when the unexpected happens.
"Infection happened. We didn't know what they whole thing was going to be. It turned out to be a little ugly than what we were expecting," one family tells us.
It's the staff who not only told us what they needed, but whose life mission it is to make a difference in children's lives, so the Surprise Squad is doing double duty, also stocking the unit with breakfast and coffee as a small token of our thanks.
"We weren't expecting this at all. This is such a great donation for us," added Brewer.