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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Holiday Toy Drive

Commercial Appeal

Crossroads Hospice patient Tommy Beck started the Midtown Secret Santas Toy Drive out of his home 12 years ago to help children in need during the holiday season. Growing into a community event complete with an appearance by Santa Claus, the annual toy drive for the Salvation Army draws dozens of residents of all ages.

For his Crossroads Hospice Gift of a Day, Beck wanted to continue this tradition of giving with his family and friends by his side, but Beck passed away one week prior to the event. His friends Amy and Dennis McGivern and many others hosted the toy drive in his memory.

Created by Crossroads Hospice, the Gift of a Day program creates patients' ideas of a perfect day with the help of staff and volunteers. Crossroads Hospice staff honored Beck's Gift of a Day wish by presenting toys to his family at the now-renamed "Tommy Beck Toy Drive."

"Because this toy drive meant so much to Tommy, Crossroads Hospice wanted to honor his memory and request by participating," says Mary Dollar-Shapiro, social worker for Crossroads Hospice. "Tommy's friends did a wonderful job carrying on his legacy."

"The Gift of a Day program brings out the best in the community, with Crossroads staff, and volunteers coming together to create these special moments," says Tonya Wales, psychosocial coordinator for Crossroads Hospice. "The requests are as varied as the patients we serve, challenging us to find creative ways to bring about that perfect day.

"The gifts have brought smiles, tears, laughter and joy to countless terminally ill patients and their families."

Crossroads Hospice is committed to being at the forefront of the hospice care industry, and to continually shape the way end-of-life care is viewed and administered. The mission of Crossroads Hospice is to provide unique, comprehensive and compassionate hospice services to people experiencing a life-limiting illness and to their caregivers. For more information about Crossroads Hospice, call (901) 382-9292.

Amanda Lieberman is an account executive with Simon Public Relations.

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