Police bring presents to kids at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
The sirens sounded as the 40-plus police cruisers pulled up in front.
Minutes later Santa Claus emerged in his bright red suit, carrying bags of toys for the little boys and girls inside. Some children were hooked to infusion pumps. Others were in wheelchairs.
It’s the eighth year police officers from the region collected toys and delivered them to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
What started with five cars and nine officers has grown each year to where there are more than three dozen cars and over 53 policemen and women. The hospital lobby was packed Thursday with presents and police and patients.
“We definitely drive the hospital a little crazy with all the gifts and all of us being here taking over the lobby, but we really wanted to do something to help children,” said Aspinwall acting police Chief David Nemec. “When families are down on their luck and in the hospital they don’t have time to think about Christmas, let alone be able to go out and buy toys. We love to see the smiles on the kids’ faces.”
Five-month-old Caleb Snyder had a smile on his face. The day after surgery to treat an ailment of the large intestine, the infant laughed when he spotted Santa Claus. Officers gave him a toy farm with animals. His parents, Melinda and Adam Snyder of Imperial, said their son won’t be home for Christmas so the present helps a little.
“Everyone here are Children’s makes the experience comfortable,” said Melinda Snyder. “They are wonderful.’
They certainly are, said Adam Snyder.
“He is smiling today, and is much happier,” he said. “Yesterday, he wasn’t smiling.”
JoAnne Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062 or email@example.com or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.