A trip to the hospital for any child is a nerve-racking experience for the entire family at any time of year, but especially during the holiday season. Continuing an annual tradition, Alexandra Shuster, of Margate, NJ, delivered toys and clothing to Shore Medical Center’s Pediatric Care Center on Wednesday, November 21, 2012, that will be used to brighten the stays of patients and their families.
Shuster’s donation is the continuation of an effort begun eight years ago as a community service project while she prepared for her Bat Mitzvah at Beth El Synagogue in Margate. Now 20, Shuster, a junior at Pennsylvania State University who is studying psychology, said she looks forward to doing whatever she can to help others.
“It’s never fun to be in the hospital. I enjoy doing anything that will help lift their spirits,” she said.
Each year, Shuster collects donations from area businesses, which she then delivers to the Pediatric Care Center on the day before Thanksgiving. Sandy Irizarry, RN, BSN, Assistant Nurse Manger for Shore’s Emergency Department and Pediatric Care Center, said the donations make a profound impact on their recipients.
“It’s hard when families have to be in the hospital over the holidays,” said Irizarry. “These gifts make everyone smile during what can be a traumatic time.”
Shore’s groundbreaking, kid-friendly Pediatric Care Center was the first of its kind in the state of New Jersey, featuring a dedicated and separate pediatric treatment area for minor illnesses and injuries, as well as inpatient rooms. Children are seen by board certified Emergency Department physicians and specially trained pediatric emergency nurses, in consultation with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) pediatricians who are on site 24/7/365.
Pictured: Alexandra Shuster, 20, of Margate, made her annual donation of toys and clothing to Shore Medical Center’s Pediatric Care Center on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. Shuster has been making annual donations to Shore since she was 12.