SEAFORD — Brooke’s Toy Closet provides new toys to children in the Emergency Department and Pediatric Units at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional and TidalHealth Nanticoke. The program was inspired by Brooke Mulford, a young girl who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, in 2009, when she was 4 years old. Brooke had a vision to give toys to kids in the hospital to make their time there a little easier. After a valiant battle, she passed away in June 2017, but her memory carries on through Brooke’s Toy Closet.
In June, Dale Wigglesworth, administrative assistant for TidalHealth Peninsula Regional’s ED, shared photos of the empty shelves in the Brooke’s Toy Closet storage area to her personal Facebook page in hopes of getting friends and family to donate much-needed toys. Her post went viral, generating a tidal wave of donations from supporters throughout Delmarva and the country.
“I never dreamed my post would get so much recognition,” said Ms. Wigglesworth. “When I started seeing the donations pouring in, I was in tears. I am thrilled to make a difference and help Brooke’s dream stay alive. She was truly an inspiration and a fighter who always smiled no matter what struggles she was facing.”
Brooke’s Toy Closet serves thousands of pediatric patients a year at TidalHealth Peninsula Regional and now serves many more through the newly opened closet at TidalHealth Nanticoke. In the past month, the TidalHealth Foundation has received a steady stream of donated toys, which have filled the shelves, nooks and crannies of their storage areas and will keep the shelves filled in both of Brooke’s Toy Closets for many months to come.
For those interested, there are two ways to donate to Brooke’s Toy Closet:
In-person: Call the TidalHealth Foundation at 410-543-7140 to arrange your in-person donation in Salisbury or Seaford. Toys donated in person must be new with tags or in the box; we cannot accept used toys.
Amazon: You can purchase toys for our closets through an Amazon wish list managed by Brooke’s mom, Amy, who works with the foundation. The toys will be shipped directly to the organization for both toy closets in Salisbury and Seaford. The link below is the only access point for the Toy Closet wishlist on Amazon.