Delnor’s Giving Tree makes birthdays brighter

By on March 22, 2010

Geneva—Birthdays are a celebratory time in most children’s lives. They often mean parties, presents and fun. But for many children living in poverty, birthdays pass without any recognition.

In fact, one in six children in the U.S. lives in poverty. When a family can’t even afford food or shelter, they certainly can’t afford birthday gifts.

Delnor Hospital wants to help change that with this month’s Giving Tree, and everyone in the community can help do their part as well. For the entire month of March, the Delnor Giving Tree is working with the Cheerful Givers organization to provide toy-filled birthday bags to food shelves and shelters.

In 2009, 37,531 less fortunate children were able to experience the joy of receiving a birthday gift from their parents because of Cheerful Givers. The organization believes that this simple gesture boosts self-esteem, enhances self-worth, and strengthens bonds in families. Since 1994, it has donated over 300,000 birthday gift bags to children in need.

“Cheerful Givers provides more than birthday bags, it celebrates those lives that matter,” said Robin Maynard Steele, founder of the Cheerful Givers organization. “The birthday bags are a symbol of the unconditional love that we have for our anonymous neighbors in need and their children. They warm the heart of the volunteer who made it. And when this gift is met with a parent’s tears of joy, we know that this one little birthday bag is going to warm the world in the hands of a child.”

Wrapping up smiles and warm wishes
“Cheerful Givers seemed to be a perfect fit with Delnor’s mission to help the communities we serve,” said Shari Motylinksi, patient advocate at Delnor Hospital. “I read an article about the organization a few years ago and how it touched so many lives; I really wanted to be a part of it. This is the second time Delnor has been involved with Cheerful Givers. It is very heartwarming when a child can unwrap a present for their birthday they would otherwise not have received, both for the parent and the child.”

Be part of the giving
Delnor is asking for toy donations, including items like books, plush toys, balls, puzzles, stickers, crayons even cake mixes and balloons. For a complete list, please visit and look under the “What’s New” section for the Giving Tree.

At the end of the month, Delnor will host a bag blitz and put the items into bags. They will then be distributed to St. Peter’s Food Pantry, St. Charles Salvation Army and Batavia Interfaith Pantry.

The Giving Tree, located in the Delnor Hospital atrium, allows employees to easily drop off their contribution. For community members, making a donation is simple; just pull into the entrance of Delnor Hospital and the valet parking staff will take donated items and place them by the Delnor Giving Tree. Valet parking is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information

If you have any questions about Delnor’s Giving Tree or the Cheerful Givers organization, contact Lynne Casey, senior marketing specialist, at (630) 208-4512.

Delnor Hospital, located at 300 Randall Road in Geneva, is part of Delnor Health System.