Several national retailers and local small businesses are engaging their customers to help make the holidays brighter for patients at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.
New toys, books and monetary donations are being collected at various locations in the Youngstown-Warren area throughout the month.
“We’re blessed and appreciative that these businesses choose Akron Children’s to benefit from theirs and their customers’ generosity at the holidays,” said JoAnn Stock, director of development for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. “Each one has a personal motivation or connection to the hospital, and they must be getting good response and feedback from their customers because we see so many of them do it year after year.”
Starbucks, Stock said, has been doing a “Giving Tree” campaign since Akron Children’s opened locally, providing the vehicle for their customers to donate to the hospital.
They take it a step further by collecting names and contact info of donors so we can send them a thank you, and donors get a free cup of coffee after the holidays.
Barnes & Noble is another repeating retailer.
“The number of books they collect is always impressive, and it not only helps our patients who are in the hospital during the holidays, but it helps stock our shelves throughout the year,” JoAnn said.
Youngstown Cycle Supply, a Boardman retailer located a few blocks from Beeghly campus, said its customers and social media followers look forward to supporting its toy and book drive every year because they know their donation goes right into the hands of a sick child.
“One day I was outside the shop with my son and the Air Bear flew over,” said Megan Stevens, who co-owns the business with her father. “You realize there’s a sick child in that helicopter every time you hear it overhead, and that’s when we decided we wanted to do something.”
Youngstown Cycle brings truckloads of toys every year, Stock said, and in the spring it runs another generous raffle-based fundraiser for Akron Children’s in conjunction with its annual open house event.
Following is a complete list of toy and book drives benefiting Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, as well as the duration of each campaign.
- Ace Hardware – Donating $3 from each purchase of a Children’s Miracle Network ornament at all Mahoning Valley locations through Dec. 24.
- Barnes & Noble – Collecting new books purchased at its Boardman store through Jan. 1.
- Books-A-Million – Collecting new books purchased at its Eastwood Mall store through Dec. 18.
- Chico’s – Donating $10 from each purchase of a Children’s Miracle Network necklace at its Boardman and Grove City stores through Dec. 31.
- Ghossain’s Gourmet Mediterranean Foods – Collecting new, unwrapped toys and books at its Boardman and Niles locations through Dec. 18.
- Skate Zone Fun Center – Collecting new, unwrapped toys at its Austintown location through Dec. 18.
- Starbucks – Collecting new toys and books through a Giving Tree campaign at its Austintown and Boardman locations through Dec. 19.
- White House Black Market – Donating $15 from each purchase of a “Convertible Miracles” necklace at its Grove City store while supplies last.
- Youngstown Cycle Supply – Collecting new toys and books at its Boardman location through Dec. 22.