TOTY® Awards will Spotlight the Impact of Children’s Hospital Play Grants with Bronx Hospital

August 29, 2023 | Play makes a difference in the lives of children every day. In a children's hospital setting, play is one of the most valuable tools in helping children understand and process their diagnosis, communicate any worries, and have a positive distraction. Hospitals depend on donations, such as those from The Toy Foundation™ (TTF), to provide opportunities for play as a valuable, in-kind service to their patients.

TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants program works year round to deliver the extraordinary benefits of play to hospitalized children. At the Toy of the Year® Awards, taking place September 29 at Cipriani 42nd Street, TTF and its mission partner, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, will share the impact of the program and opportunities to get involved. Purchase tickets while they’re still available.

TTF recently visited Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York, to speak with the mother of Jordan, a 6-year-old boy who had heart transplant as an infant and is admitted to the hospital several times per year as part of his ongoing care.

“Play is amazing for Jordan. It’s one of his main coping mechanisms ahead of procedures and is a good incentive to cooperate with what the doctors need him to do,” Jordan’s mom shared.

In addition to helping medical procedures happen more quickly and with less complications, play offers extraordinary physical, emotional, and educational benefits for children when they’re unable to play outside, socialize with friends, or learn in the classroom.

“The toys make Jordan feel like he’s actually playing with Sophie, his child life specialist, when she is using it as a medical tool to find out how Jordan is feeling and what may be scaring him,” Jordan’s mom continued.

Children’s Hospital of Montefiore treats one of the most underserved populations in the country, with the vast majority of its patients on Medicaid or uninsured. Its pediatric patients have both medical and social needs to attend to, and Children’s Hospital at Montefiore prides itself on providing care to help them heal and grow, which includes play.

“Play is such an important part of our work and there are not a lot of programs in New York City, or in the country, to provide these types of mental health services for pediatric patients,” said Meghan Kelly, director of patient and family programs at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. “The work we do and the specialties I oversee are not reimbursable by health insurance, so we rely heavily on our donors like The Toy Foundation for support.”

TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants program is an opportunity for small, medium, and large companies alike to deliver the benefits of play to under-resourced children’s hospitals. TTF looks forward to sharing more about the program at the Toy of the Year® Awards. If you’re unable to attend or would like to discuss opportunities sooner, reach out to TTF staff.