The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office delivered toys to Inova Loudoun Hospital in Landsowne on Thursday, completing its fifth holiday season toy drive for children receiving care at the facility.
The law enforcement agency collected more than 1,200 toys for children at Inova this year, Sheriff Mike Chapman said. While some of the toys will be immediately given to children undergoing treatment at the hospital, the remainder will be stored with the local non-profit organization Cole’s Closet and distributed to hospitalized children throughout the year.
Since the initiative began five years ago, the sheriff’s office estimated it had collected about 10,000 toys for patients as young as infants and up to those aged 17 years old at Inova.
Chapman said the initiative intended to “provide some sort of a Christmas ... or holiday season for the kids that are hospitalized” during the end of the year.” The sheriff added that the gifted toys, “uplifts [the children’s] spirits, helps the parents — it’s ... good overall.”
“We’re all about serving the public and we like to do events like this,” Chapman said, referring to the toy drive. “We want to make sure that the community feels comfortable with us — they trust what we do and how we do it.”
The sheriff’s office comes “every year with wonderful gifts to give to our patients,” according to Inova’s assistant vice president of campus and clinical operations, April Brown.
Brown said one of the biggest rewards of the initiative is “just to see [the children’s] faces light up.” She said that during some years, pediatric patients line the windows inside the hospital as personnel from the sheriff’s office arrive with the toy donations.
The holidays are “a stressful time to be in the hospital,” Brown said. “So to be able to bring us to our little pediatric patients, it just brightens up their day.”