The look of pure joy on a child’s face melts the hearts of veteran troopers.
“This is a good day. We wish every day could be Christmas,” said Lt. Col. Butch Hyatt of the Connecticut State Police.
State troopers went door-to-door at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford on Monday, handing out toys to children in the hospital's emergency department. From Barbie dolls to blocks, the wish lists were covered, and troopers raised more than $20,000 thanks to the generosity of people around the state.
“Every toy you see, and all the dollars in the check, come from the public from their hearts, so these children can have a good Christmas,” said Hyatt.
But the toy giveaway isn't limited to Christmas. State police, the Ambulance Service of Manchester and Aetna Ambulance collect toys around the holidays as part of an 18-year tradition and hand them out year round.
“To see the state police coming in and bringing toys to kids, coming into the emergency department in particular, which is a place where we see a lot of the trauma at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, it's just so fulfilling,” said Martin Gavin, President and CEO of Connecticut Children's Medical Center.
It’s fulfilling for the children, too, and a part of their healing process.
“Part of it is, is just to take their minds off of what they're doing, what they're going through overall. It's a diversion, but it's also a gift, and at this time of year, it's about a gift,” said Gavin.