It’s been a month since my father-in-law had his stroke and we’ve certainly spent a lot of time in hospitals over the last few weeks. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit a hospital for a happy reason thanks to my partnership with Toyota. In celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th, Toyota sent over $2,500 for me to purchase some items American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, WI was needing and provided me the stylish Sienna minivan to use for shopping and delivery. (Thank goodness it is super roomy when you take the seats out because Josh and I did a LOT of shopping and filled it up!)
Many times when families come to Children’s Hospital, the kids wind up needing to be admitted and the adults may not have the toiletries needed for a comfortable overnight stay. The hospital asked for toothbrushes, travel sized toothpaste and travel sized deodorant. We hit up all of our local Walgreens in pursuit of these items. While we were shopping at a Walgreen’s in West Bend, the cashier casually asked us what we were shopping for. When we told her, she shared that she used to work at the associated Ronald McDonald House and how she knew these items would be such a blessing to many. She pulled us aside and asked if she could contribute some travel shampoos to the stash. We loved that idea and agreed to meet up the following morning. Turns out she had amassed over 100! (She is an avid couponer.) We loved that we now had even more to give.
The hospital was also looking for toys for a number of their different departments. We had a blast searching out sensory toys that could easily be disinfected (no plush toys or characters) and laughed as they started playing their various tunes and noises as we drove around. We keep adding more and more to the pile, amazed at how far we were able to stretch the money we had with a little savvy shopping.
Lastly, we were able to pick up a bunch of small denomination gift cards for the hospital to gift as prizes and birthday surprises. While I felt bad for the cashier who had to ring up a huge stack of gift cards for $5 each, the customers in line behind us assured us they didn’t mind one bit once they heard what it was going for. Everyone was so excited to hear about how Toyota was helping us to provide these blessings to American Family Children’s Hospital! Hopefully we inspired a few of them to go bestow some random acts of kindness as well.
When delivery day came, I headed out to meet up with the hospital representatives and deliver both the supplies we had picked up AND an additional $2,500 donation from Toyota. I chuckled hearing them ohhh and ahhh as they spotted different toys they knew the kids would love. I actually got a bit teary as I drove away. I loved having the opportunity to participate in such a generous act of kindness on Toyota’s part and cannot express enough how much joy their donations are going bring to both kids and parents facing what may very well be one of the hardest times in their lives. While we all can’t execute big, grand gestures like this everyday, we certainly can do small random acts of kindness when presented the opportunity. Help a frazzled mom load her groceries into the car, let another person cut in front of you in line, pay for the coffee of the person behind you at the drive thru – do what you can to spread some kindness in the world.
I want to give one last huge thank you to Toyota for partnering with me on this campaign. I was thrilled to be a part of something that is going to do so much for so many and loved every minute of the shopping and delivery! This will definitely go down as one of my favorite campaigns to work on!!