Toy drive spreads holiday cheer

Elisabeth Bise and her mother Veronique Bise deliver toys to the pediatric ward at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

Elisabeth Bise is once again spreading holiday cheer with The 25 Days of Christmas Toy Drive.

The 16-year-old has been collecting toys for children in need since she was 8 years old. Her older sister Victoria started the campaign in 2008 when she was just 13.

Elisabeth is now spearheading the drive; she took up the torch when her big sister left to study overseas.

Their mother, Veronique Bise, says support for the toy drive has been overwhelming.
“Every year, we receive amazing donations from individuals and businesses who love to know this toy drive is run by children – well, teenagers now – as they feel their motives are genuine – to make children in the Cayman Islands happy during the holidays,” she said.

Dates and donations

The drive kicks off on Nov. 28 and wraps up on Dec. 13. New, unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at the Cayman Islands Customs Agency on Godfrey Nixon Way. Alternatively, arrangements can be made for group donations to be picked up.

Gifts are welcome for all ages – from babies through teens. Monetary donations are also appreciated as Elisabeth uses the funds to purchase special gifts.

“Cash donations are always very appreciated because it allows me to purchase items I usually don’t receive for [certain] ages, and some items specifically needed for the pediatric ward,” she said.

The gifts are delivered to The Department of Children and Family Services and the Cayman Islands Hospital pediatric ward.

For Elisabeth, spreading holiday cheer to young patients is close to her heart. She’s had several major surgeries in the past few years and knows too well how special touches can make a difference to a child in hospital.

She also appreciates the support of the Cayman Islands Customs Agency, which has been a sponsor since the start. The agency collects and delivers the toys each year.

“It literally takes one of their large trucks to fit everything in,” said Elisabeth.

Group and corporate donations can be arranged by calling Veronique at 926-5599, Darrell at 925-5707, or emailing Elisabeth at [email protected] Visit the Facebook page at The 25 Days of Christmas Toy Drive.

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