3rd Annual Toy Drive Kicks off Tuesday at City Hall


City’s 3rd annual summer toy drive kicks off Tuesday at City Hall

Port St. Lucie’s 3rd annual summer toy drive to benefit children with serious medical conditions begins Tuesday, June 23 at City Hall with a tree lighting by Santa in the City Council chambers.


The kickoff event begins at 4 p.m. with holiday music, refreshments and a few brief comments. Then collection boxes will be placed in City Hall, the police station lobby and the Community Center, and the toy drive will continue until July 30, when city police officers will deliver the collected toys directly to the children at PATCHES pediatric nursing center in Fort Pierce.


PATCHES is a non-profit medical daycare center that specializes in helping children with serious medical conditions. With professional medical staff attending the children during the day, parents can leave their kids in a caring environment while working or running family errands. The children return home in the evenings to rejoin family.


Now known as Santa’s Summer Toy Drive, the campaign’s goal is to raise 300 toys and $3,500 in cash and gift cards. Everything donated will be used exclusively to purchase toys for the PATCHES children.


Santa’s Summer Toy Drive began in 2012 when donated toys were stolen days before Christmas as PATCHES was preparing to deliver them to the kids. When people at City Hall heard the bad news, they quickly began gathering replacement toys and within hours delivered them.


“The happy response from the kids and their parents was so rewarding to see that we just had to do it again,” said City Councilman Ron Bowen. “These children are dealing with some very difficult medical problems, so we want to make sure they can enjoy great toys without waiting until the holidays.”


On Thursday, July 30, Port St. Lucie police officers will drive the toys to the PATCHES center in Fort Pierce and deliver them to the children with Santa’s help. The officers will arrive with lights flashing and sirens blasting, and there will be a special celebration at the PATCHES center.


PATCHES asks that only new toys in unopened containers be donated. They will be reviewed for safety by PATCHES staff and given to the children on an age-appropriate basis. PATCHES staff members work with the children daily, and they know which toys are most suitable for each individual child.


PATCHES stands for Pediatric Alternatives Treatment, Care, Housing and Evaluation Services.


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