It would be difficult for your heart to not grow several sizes when seeing parents of hospitalized children at Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM) step inside Snowpile, a magical holiday shopping event overflowing with presents from floor to ceiling.
On Wednesday, Dec. 14, with support from The Children’s Foundation which sponsored Snowpile, parents “shopped” for presents which will be delivered bedside on Christmas morning. Snowpile provides gifts not only to children who are too sick to enjoy the holidays at home, but also for their siblings. The event brings joy to these children and their families, as well as alleviates the stress associated with holiday gift giving – including time spent shopping, cost, wrapping, and more!
“It’s very difficult when your child is sick, but when you walk in you are so overwhelmed with love and support,” said Alison Lukitsch, mother to a child currently staying at CHM. Lukitsch was brought to tears when she saw the holiday shop.
The holidays are a time of year when nothing compares to the comfort and warmth of being at home. So it’s not easy when your family can’t be there together for the holidays – especially when it is because you have a hospitalized child. The annual toy drive, which has been happening for nearly 20 years, helps bring a sense of normalcy to patients and their families during the holidays.
Lukitsch said she appreciated that the event included all the necessary details to create a complete holiday shopping experience. From stocking stuffers to gift wrapping, decorative items for the hospital room to holiday books to read together.
The event organized by the hospital’s Child Life Services helped more 75 caregivers shop for more than 300 children. Thousands of toys, books, games and more, are donated by community organizations, businesses, families, and overwhelmingly by former patients of CHM who want to give back.
The goal of Snowpile is to help make the holiday season easier for CHM families by allowing parents to focus on what is truly important; their child.