CK Operation Christmas Hospital. Pictured: Organizer Melissa Marie Chauvin with daughter. (Photo courtesy of Melissa Marie Chauvin.)

Chatham Charity Brings Holiday Spirit To Kids At CKHA

A Chatham mother-daughter duo are determined to spread cheer to young children who have to spend the holidays in a hospital room.

Melissa Marie Chauvin and her 10-year-old daughter run the local charity “CK Operation Christmas Hospital,” which collects toys and other donations to be presented as Christmas presents for young patients at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Chatham Campus.

“CK Operation Christmas hospital was started in 2010 after my daughter, who was three at the time, needed surgery and hospitalization due to a burst appendix,” says Chauvin.

She says her daughter spent time at both a London hospital, as well as a couple shorter stays at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. During these hospital visits, Chauvin says she and her daughter realized the importance of making sick patients feel special.

After some brainstorming with her daughter, CK Operation Christmas Hospital was born.

“With the help of our awesome and generous community, CK Operation Christmas Hospital is now in its seventh year of hospital Christmas donations! We also host fun little events throughout the year for kids, such as colouring and costume contests & Easter egg hunts,” says Chauvin.

Chauvin says this will be the first year she is working hand-in-hand with the actual foundation of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. She says volunteering has always been a passion of hers.

“When an opportunity presented itself to teach my daughter the importance and joy of giving back, while also helping out our local hospital, I just knew this was something we needed to do. For the past seven years my daughter and I always look forward to doing this each year as it is the main event in our home, even bigger and more exciting than Christmas morning itself,” she says.

Chauvin says the charity is made possible through the generosity of the community.

She says examples of items that can be donated include¬†coloring books, crayons, craft kits, games, children’s DVDs, journals, slippers, stickers, and other child-friendly items. A full list of donation ideas can be found on the fundraiser’s Facebook page.

Chauvin says donated items can be dropped off until the evening December 23. She says various drop-off locations are also listed on the Facebook page.

She says the donations will be delivered to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s Chatham Campus hospital on Christmas Eve and nurses will distribute the presents to patients throughout the hospital.