PHOENIX - Valley groups have raised thousands of dollars in cash and pledges to replace $20,000 worth of Christmas toys meant for children with special medical needs that were stolen this week.
The Executives Association of Greater Phoenix, a networking association of more than 125 Phoenix business leaders, raised $10,000 after the toys were stolen from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center on Wednesday.
The toys were meant to be Christmas gifts for children at the hospital with chronic and disabling medical conditions. They were stolen out of a locked storage unit at the Children’s Rehabilitative Services clinic at St. Joseph’s.
“Our members have been spearheading an effort to ensure that the clinic has a toy for every child this holiday season,” said Executives Association President Rick Goldenson in a news release.
After the robbery, the clinic’s staff called for the community to help replenish the gifts stolen by “a real-life Grinch.”
Also coming to their aid was the COMVOICE HD Telephone company, which was set to purchase and donate $2,000 worth of toys on Friday.
Eric Knight, owner of COMVOICE, and the majority of his employees planned to visit a north Phoenix Walmart Friday afternoon to buy the toys.
Following the theft, St. Joseph's Hospital asked the public for donations of toys for kids of all ages who speak both English and Spanish so they can distribute one to each sick child by mid-December.
After hearing of several groups' plans to donate money and toys, hospital staff planned a Friday press conference to thank Valley residents for their generosity in helping to replenish the stolen toys.
"St. Joseph’s CRS is very appreciative of the community’s quick response and incredible generosity," said hospital spokeswoman Sara Baird. "In just one day, charitable members of the community touched by the spirit of Christmas offered their openhanded support for children with special medical needs."
If you want to help replace the toys, donation information and guidelines are available by calling Ani Gurlekian at the St. Joseph's Foundation at (602) 406-3041, or the Executive Director of the Executives’ Association, Tom Sheridan, at (602) 241-0864.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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