Seven years ago, 12-year-old Alexandra Shuster came to Shore Memorial Hospital’s pediatric department to donate toys and clothing as part of her Bat Mitzvah.
Could the pre-teen ever have imagined her selfless act would evolve into an annual tradition?
“No, I really didn’t,” the now 19-year-old Margate teen says. “But after the first time, when I met the kids and gave them their gifts, it made me feel so good I wanted to continue.”
Shuster, a student at Pennsylvania State University’s University Park campus, returned to Shore Medical Center Tuesday, Nov. 22, with a carload of toys and clothing that will brighten the stays of patients in Shore’s new Pediatric Care Center.
She began the tradition when she was 12 years old as part of her Bat Mitzvah and has continued it ever since. Each year, Shuster collects donations from area businesses, culminating in her pre-Thanksgiving delivery.
This year, Shuster toured the cutting-edge Pediatric Care Center, interacting with patients after dropping off her donation.
Pediatric Care Center and Emergency Department Nurse Manager Lisa Sulzman says Shuster’s donations create a valuable bridge between scared patients and the men and women who care for them. And, she marvels at Shuster’s commitment to her mission.
“The fact that she continues it is remarkable,” Sulzman says. “It’s very selfless.”
Pictured above: On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Alexandra Shuster, 19, of Margate, made her annual donation of toys and clothing to Shore Medical Center’s Pediatric Care Center. Shuster has been making donations every year since she was 12.