Emergency room nurse launches toy drive


The season of giving is here, and with it are people looking to give back to their community and help those around them. One nurse at IU Health Saxony Hospital is doing just that.

Brittany Power, a registered nurse in the emergency department, launched her own toy drive when she started her position about 10 months ago.

“I had never worked with pediatric patients before, so that was intimidating,” Power said. “I thought one thing I would want as a child in the ER was some comfort. It would make me more willing to work with health care professionals.”

Power began bringing in stuffed animals she won from arcade crane machines. The toys were given to pediatric patients in the emergency room, and Power saw the kids relax when they received the toy.

“It started really hitting off,” Power said. “Co-workers started bringing in items, too, and the kids responded well. We provided a safety measure to let them know they can trust us. A lot of times with children, they say things like, ‘Doctors and hospitals are scary.’ I wanted to bring in a positive view for children who visited the ER.”

Power decided to increase the emergency department’s efforts by creating its first-ever Christmas toy drive, an expanded version of her initial toy-sharing efforts.

Power said participation in the program has been successful. The toy drive saw a total of 10 donations in its first week, half of which came from the department’s Amazon wish list.

“We put flyers all around the hospital – in the main lobby and ER lobby,” Power said. “The flyers have a QR code that links directly to the Amazon wish list, so it’s easy for people to donate on the spot.”

Power said donated toys can be purchased from the wish list or dropped off at the hospital’s toy drive box in the emergency room lobby. The department requires all toys be new with tags and can’t contain glitter because it can interfere with an MRI machine.

“We want (patients) to be able to have a toy with them every step of their stay, including in the MRI room,” Power said. “It makes for better relationships between nurses and kids.”

Donated toys will be given exclusively to children who visit the emergency room at IU Health Saxony. The toy drive ends Dec. 31.

“We’re hoping to get a lot of donations through this,” Power said. “If we receive a surplus of donations, IU Health will continue to provide toys to kids beyond holidays, just like we’ve been doing.”

Donors can find toys at amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3F17F8MJM18OX/?ref_=lol_ov_le.