Contact Us
Ridgewood Daily Voice serves Ridgewood, NJ
Return to your home site

Menu

Ridgewood Daily Voice serves Ridgewood, NJ

Nearby Towns

lifestyle

Bergen PBA Toy Drive Makes ‘Huge Difference’ For Kids At Valley Hospital

Katie Miller, left, and Janine Cook, right, collect toys for The Valley Hospital during last year's Bergen County PBA Toy Drive.
Katie Miller, left, and Janine Cook, right, collect toys for The Valley Hospital during last year's Bergen County PBA Toy Drive. Photo Credit: Janine Cook

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Katie Miller remembers how a pair of Beatz headphones and Apple products brightened the day of an 18-year-old receiving cancer treatment at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.

“It was fantastic,” recalled Miller, a child life specialist and supervisor of community outreach and projects at the hospital.

That moment was made possible through the annual Bergen County PBA Toy Drive.

This year, a record high of 50 PBA locals are taking part in the toy drive, joining what is known as the “Santa Response Team.”

Loads of toys will be delivered to destinations such as Valley, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HUMC, and other local organizations and families in need.

“They really provide us with an abundance of toys and gifts for our kids, and it makes a huge difference,” said Janine Cook, a child life specialist in Valley’s pediatric unit.

“The worst possible place you can be on Christmas is a hospital … So just having a toy to give a child who is scared and worried and sick, or not feeling well or has to have surgery, really makes a huge difference in their lives at that moment,” she said.

Miller said when officers came through with headphones and Apple products for the young cancer patient, “we couldn’t thank them enough.” The experience was very rewarding – and “we were just able to be the messengers and be a part of this girl’s life,” she said.

The toys are distributed to the pediatric population throughout the Valley Health System, and some may even be given to siblings in waiting rooms or lobbies, Miller said.

“It gets you very much in the spirit of the holidays and giving back,” she said.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Ridgewood Daily Voice!

Get the news you need to know on the go.

Welcome to

Ridgewood Daily Voice!

Hi! You've read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list.

Get important news about your town as it happens.