Here's how Our Community Supports Us

Friends of La Rabida are supporting the hospital in many ways this Holiday Season:
Special thanks to Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond, a Schaumburg certified public accounting firm (Partner Al Kutchins is a longtime La Rabida Trustee), for coordinating its annual toy drive for La Rabida. The group sent out letters and posters to more than 900 colleagues, clients and friends resulting in more than 1,500 toys for our patients! Santa delivered the toys to inpatients Christmas morning with many more left over, ensuring that this is one gift that will keep on giving.



Longtime supporter 101.9fm the MIX once again donated part of the proceeds from its annual Miracle on State Street to the hospital. The Dec. 6 concert, featuring the Backstreet Boys, Plain White T’s and Colbie Caillat packed the beautiful Chicago Theatre for an evening of top notch pop music. Even more thrilling (at least for the “exclusive crowd” on the S.S. La Rabida inpatient unit), the T’s played an acoustic set at the hospital before the show! Click to see video In addition, concert goers warmed the hearts (not to mention heads and hands) of La Rabida patients by generously donating new mittens, hats and scarves.



A holiday caroling crew from Emerald City Theatre’s production of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer the Musical recently delighted La Rabida patients with acapella holiday classics. The trio strolled from cabin to cabin, serenading patients, some of whom rocked or swayed to the catchy tunes of “ Frosty the Snowman,” “Jingle Bells” and the title hit “ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”



La Rabida Patients Treated to Holiday Magic, Gifts
A generous benefactor treated more than a dozen La Rabida patients to a magical outing at the Rainforest Cafe just in time for the holidays.

Patt McGee collected donations of toys and gifts, including personalized letters from Santa. She then packaged and distributed bags to patients, who were escorted to the tropical-forest themed cafe by parents and caregivers.

Guests dined on chicken fingers, pasta and salad and were later delighted by the magical illusions of Trent Revis, whose battle with cerebral palsy has been documented in local media. "Every child deserves a good Christmas," said McGee who has doubled as a “holiday angel” for more than 20 years.



Bear Hugs
Two former Chicago Bears players visited outpatients, their families and staff and distributed holiday treats during a recent stop. Charlie Brown and Major Hazelton both played defensive back position during their time with the Bears in the late 1960's.

The men are part of the Chicago chapter of the NFL Alumni Association, which supports children’s charities.



Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Rho Gamma Gamma chapter rolled in the holiday cheer for our patients in the form of toys and gifts, including a bike. “This really warms our hearts,’’ said Jamal Ali, chairman of the chapter’s social action committee following the donation.



A "holiday angel" helped rescue Christmas for a La Rabida patient-family who lost everything in a November Indiana house fire.

Michelle Goldin, an office manager with Magellan Corp., and longtime supporter of La Rabida, learned about the family through co-workers and stepped up.

She and daughter Mackenzie visited with the family before Christmas and presented them with two Santa-sized sacks of goodies that included sparkly sweaters, matching fingernail polish and sweet treats. For Cody, an X-Men Legends video game and warm fleece jackets brought smiles.

Goldin said she "adopts" a family every year to help spread holiday cheer. “I just really enjoy it,” she said.



La Rabida Trustee Fred Walz and his family recently paid a holiday visit to patients and staff. The group toured the new outpatient center and presented a generous donation.



Dennis Kelter recently stopped by the hospital to give from himself and co-workers of the Finance Department of ComEd in OakBrook Terrace. The donation, presented to Fund Development's Luci Carrasco, included gift cards from Toys R Us and Target. Thanks, Dennis and our friends at ComEd.



'Tis the Season!
The employees of Magellan Corporation helped make this a very happy holiday season indeed! Magellan employees bought gifts for infants, children and teens in honor of Bob Arthur, president of Magellan and a La Rabida trustee.

“We wanted to do something in honor of our president,” said Vicki Horn, director of corporate hospitality at Magellan. “Every year we do something for our charities and La Rabida is one of our favorites.”

La Rabida VP of Fund Development and External Affairs Janet Haines stood in awe as bag after box after package was unloaded. “It’s unreal,” she said with a broad smile.

“Our boys were helping load the cart once we got all the donations,” said Heather Morris of Magellan. “They really like doing this as opposed to just giving money because it’s a tangible gift. They can really see how they are helping.”

The many gifts given will go to our holiday gift room, where employees become elves who distribute presents to outpatients after their appointments. The toys, warm clothing, books and supplies will also go to our inpatients who will be with us on Christmas Day.
Thanks, Magellan!



MacKenzie Conn, a nursing student at Marquette University and a former La Rabida extern, returned to the hospital recently bearing gifts for patients she helped care for over the summer.
Conn purchased the multi-patterned fabric of fleece on Black Friday and spent hours hand knotting  the edges to make 25 warm and toasty blankets for outpatients.
“They are very popular,’’ said Conn, who is in her senior year of the nursing program, and donates to children in Wisconsin as well.



Santa’s Decorating Little Helpers 
Barbara Cronin, ASID, owner and president of Design 10 Interiors, Inc., visited La Rabida with eight "elves" in tow to spruce up the main lobby for the holidays. By the time Barbara, Eileen Kamholz and seven middle school volunteers were done, the lobby was gleaming with holiday cheer.

“My husband and I are very involved with La Rabida and have been for a long time,” said Barbara. “In the 1930's, my grandmother volunteered here rocking babies. Then at last year’s gala, I was with my husband and Dan Real, who is a trustee, and there was something in (CEO) Brenda’s speech that made me want to give back using my talents.”

This is the second year that Barbara has helped to make the holidays festive for La Rabida using her design skills, something that she says will remain an annual event.

“This is such a special place and I’m so happy that I can be involved,” said Barbara as she hung gem-colored ornaments from the ceiling. “As an interior designer this is a great way to help.”



Thank you to Barnes & Noble for naming La Rabida Children’s Hospital as beneficiary of its 2013 Holiday Book Drive.
To date, organizers have collected more than 5,500 books for our young readers at the chain’s Clybourn Place Store, 1441 W. Webster. 

The book drive will continue through the end of the year. The goal is 7,500  books.
Shown: Jayden's dad learns about Ferdinand with his son and a volunteer enjoys a donated book with 1-year-old Damayiah.



Members of Medtronic's Neuromodulation Unit dropped off gifts for La Rabida's patients and enjoyed a hospital tour.




Thank you to Barnes & Noble for naming La Rabida Children’s Hospital as beneficiary of its 2013 Holiday Book Drive.

To date, organizers have collected more than 3,000 books for our young readers at the chain’s Clybourn Place Store, 1441 W. Webster. 

The book drive will continue through the end of the year. The goal is 7,500  books.



A community service club at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools named React is holding a toy drive for La Rabida! Carly Plys-Garzotto, a junior and vice president of React, volunteers at La Rabida and suggested the hospital as the recipient of the toys.

“It’s been really exciting to see our school community coming together for such a good cause,” said Carly. 

The drive collected more than 30 toys so far from students and parents. Thank you, Lab Schools!



Thanks go out to WXRT Chicago for partnering with La Rabida again this year for their annual holiday concert and toy drive! The adult album alternative radio station brought in hundreds of toys for patients this season.

“I love working these because it’s for such a great cause,” said Marty Rosenbaum, XRT Promotions assistant and staff writer. “It’s all for the kids.”