Healthcare Hero: Mary Fanning, WVU Medicine Children’s Community Toy Drive

Healthcare Heroes

Mary Fanning

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Mary Fanning, the vice president of nursing clinical services at WVU Medicine, is coordinating the WVU Medicine Children’s (WVUMC) Community Toy Drive.

Fanning described the toy drive as “a great opportunity for the community to give back to WVUMC” and the children it serves.

WVUMC Flyer for the Community Toy Drive

“Of course, it’s the time of the year where everybody likes to give gifts,” Fanning said. “And we welcome any gifts that the community would like to donate that we can give to our children throughout the year to make it a little bit easier for them while they’re in the hospital.”

WVUMC will hold its drive-thru drop-off on Sunday, Nov. 21, at the Waterfront Mariott in Morgantown. It will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fanning said they have tried to make the process “as convenient as possible”.

“So families and friends can drop off gifts,” she said. “And then, we will have staff there that will accept the gifts and sort them throughout the day on Sunday.”

WVUMC has an Amazon wishlist, it’s on the hospital’s website.

Mary Fanning

“If you don’t know what’s appropriate to get for children, you’re welcome to look at that,” Fanning said. “And it will give you an idea of some things and we will accept those through an Amazon donation also.” 

Fanning said all donations of new toys can have a tremendously positive impact on children receiving care at WVUMC.

“Toys are obviously great distractors for children,” Fanning said. “And it can just lighten up their day and, kind of, what we call ‘make things more normal’. We want to make things normal if it’s their birthday, and it’s not just for the children, it’s awful for their siblings.” 

Beyond Sunday’s drop-off, Fanning said the public can always buy and donate toys to WVUMC.

She said they “always accept donations throughout the year”.

“They can contact us at the Child Life Office, and that is located on the website, on the WVU Medicine Children’s website,” Fanning said.

Vehicle dropping off donated toys at the Waterfront Marriott in 2020

Despite working through the holidays and year-round to provide toys for children receiving care at WVUMC, Fanning does not see herself as special. And she certainly doesn’t see herself as a hero.

“It’s a passion of mine to care for children and so I don’t know that I’m a hero,” Fanning said. “But, it definitely is a labor of love. And, it gives back to me more than I give to the children. So, it’s important for them to have a normal life and the toys are a great distractor for them to help them think about things that are not related to their illness.”

Fanning said her labor love isn’t a solo effort; she thanked the entire Child Life team.

“Megan is our supervisor and we have a great crew of Child Life specialists and activity coordinators that will be on-site and very much are involved every day,” Fanning said.

She also thanked the public for its continued support of WVUMC and its mission.

Volunteers organizing toys at the Waterfront Marriott in 2020

“We just want to thank the community for coming out,” Fanning said. “And, we look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday with all the great toys that we can share throughout the year at WVU Medicine Children’s.” 

Remember, you can also purchase items on our wish list or make donations online:

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