The Bottomless Toy Chest: Giving Gifts to Children in Need
By: Cara Boyer
December 9, 2015
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us, and now is the time of year when generous Metro Detroiters opt to lend a helping hand. While there are many worthwhile organizations and charities in southeast Michigan, consider The Bottomless Toy Chest this holiday season.
The Bottomless Toy Chest, a nonprofit 501c(3) organization, operates 52 weeks a year and delivers toys, activities and smiles to children undergoing cancer treatment at Metro Detroit hospitals. This year alone, The Bottomless Toy Chest will deliver more than 30,000 new toys and activities!
Executive Director and founder Mickey Guisewite founded The Bottomless Toy Chest in 2008 because she wanted to create a program that would impact patients the way she had seen toys impact her young son when he was going through cancer treatment.
“Through the course of going through cancer treatment, and spending a lot of time in the hospital, I met a lot of families from many different walks of life… I would go past room after room of children going through cancer treatment alone, and I still do,” Guisewite said, who was fortunate enough to be able to quit her job to be with her son, but most often, other moms and dads were not able to do the same.
When The Bottomless Toy Chest receives a brand new toy, it is wrapped in clear cellophane. At the Troy warehouse, toys are sorted by age and gender, and the organization is always looking for volunteers for wrap parties.
Toys are then delivered to participating hospitals, including Children’s Hospital of Michigan, St. John Van Elslander Cancer Center, Beaumont Children’s Hospital, U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, Sparrow Hospital, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Hurley Children’s Hospital and Mercy Hospital in Toledo, where children get to choose their present, empowering them in a situation when they otherwise have no sense of control.
“It’s extremely rewarding to be able to see the smiles on kids’ faces when we deliver toys. We’re paid in smiles, is what we always say,” Guisewite said. “There’s nothing quite so magical as seeing that moment when somebody who is going through something very difficult transforms within a matter of seconds when they see something that they really love that makes them feel good when they open it.”
Your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers are proud to support The Bottomless Toy Chest this holiday season. Now through Friday, Dec. 18, visit one of our showrooms and place a new toy in the back of a designated Bottomless Toy Chest Silverado, and bring hope and happiness to a child with cancer.
“Our mission is to provide as many toys and smiles as possible to children undergoing cancer treatment,” Guisewite said. “We’re already in every major pediatric cancer center in Michigan. Our goal is to expand more deeply our programs within those hospitals, but also expand beyond into other hospitals.”