Kids that need to go to Sarasota Memorial Hospital for treatment will get a basket of toys and activities to make their hospital trip a little easier.

“For a child to be in a hospital in a strange environment,” Suzanne Morris said. “They’re not feeling well, they have a bunch of strangers poking at them.”

It’s personal for Suzanne Morris, whose granddaughter spent time in the hospital with Lyme and meningitis.

“The hospital stuffed her in between doctor’s visits and nurses procedures,” Morris said. “With toys.”

So, when Temple Emanu-El was looking for community service ideas, Morris thought of Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

“Because she had so many toys to occupy her time,” Morris said. “She wasn’t focused on the medical aspect and the needles sticking on her and the other things that they had to do to her, she was busy being creative.”

Members brought in activity books, play-doh, crayons, and puzzles for the kids.

“The Congregation responded immensely,” Glickman said.

They brought in over 700 items and baskets in this donation alone.

“This is Temple Emanu-El’s second batch of donations,” Glickman said. “And I think if our congregants have anything to say about it, this will not be the last.”

Rabbi Elaine Glickman hopes that they are able to grow their relationship with SMH throughout the year.

“It’s nice to have a stock of things throughout the year that we can continue to give out,” Maye said. “So, these baskets will last us a long time after the holidays and we can continue to give out those things.”

Child Life Specialist Jenn Maye says the toys can help kids heal.

“It changes their hospitalization,” Maye said. “Gives them something to focus on. Something to do, it lets them cope kids cope through play. So giving them something to do when they’re in their beds or just stuck in the hospital. It just makes all the difference in the world.”

For more information on Temple Emanu-El’s Social Action Committee visit https://sarasotatemple.org/community/social-action.