At the Children’s, there’s a saying that “kids must still be kids”. Jennifer Michelin Berzan understood that the day she first brought her son Alexander to the hospital for his asthma problems. She and her sister were frequently treated at the hospital when they were young and her short stay with her son made her realize the limited resources the hospital had to entertain children. She decided to do something to change this, and take advantage of a valuable opportunity to teach her kids the importance of mutual aid and sharing.
With help from family, friends and the community, Jennifer and her sons Alexander (4) and Ryan (7) as well as her sister Heather Michelin Chankowsky and her daughters Samantha (12) and Katie (10) collected money and toys. They gathered over 100 toys during each of the past two years and bought others with the donations. There is only one rule: their children must choose toys they would enjoy for themselves and then offer them to sick children at the hospital.
This year, Jennifer sees great potential for her project. She has recruited her boys’ school to help, asking parents of kids aged 3 to 5 to help her collect toys for very young babies, as well as gifts for teenagers: “Sometimes children stay at the hospital for a long time and we really want to cheer them up. That’s what the Holidays are all about: an opportunity to donate and think about others.”
To find out what the hospital needs, please contact Child Life Services at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.