LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Nearly 900 toys swamped a Christmas tree in the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center administration building, ready to be delivered to local children who would otherwise go without presents this year.
For the third year, the UofL School of Medicine House Staff Council, the representative body for resident and fellow physicians, led a weeklong collection for Toys for Tots. Donations were received from individual residents and fellows as well as School of Medicine faculty, staff and students.
“Unfortunately, there are so many families in Louisville who cannot afford toys for their children,” said Svetlana Famina, M.D., a third-year psychiatry resident. “We work with these families a lot on a daily basis, so we know how much things like this are appreciated by children and their parents.”
Stock Yards Bank & Trust will provide a luncheon and plaque to the three residency programs that donated the most toys.
The winning program for the third straight year, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, collected about 430 toys. Aside from gathering donated toys, psychiatry residents raised about $1,000 to buy additional gifts, Famina said.
The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health donated the second-most number of toys and the Department of Radiology finished third.
Jamie Morris, M.D., a radiology resident, said the annual toy drive has become an important way for UofL medical residents to give back to the community, especially children.
“It’s important to share what we have,” Morris said. “The residency program is a strong coalition and we have a lot to give the Louisville community.”
Staff members of the Office of Graduate Medical Education sorted and packed the toys in donation boxes, which were picked up by a Toys for Tots volunteer on Dec. 11.
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to underprivileged children in the community in which a campaign is conducted.