ROANOKE, Va - Giving a special Christmas gift to kids who need it most: you’ll have an opportunity this weekend to put a smile on a child’s face this holiday season by simply putting on your ice skates.
The Berglund Center is partnering with Carilion Children's for a public ice skate Sunday, with the hopes of collecting toy donations for Carilion's adolescent psychiatric unit.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in a special ambulance at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, while Christmas elves will arrive in a lifeguard helicopter in front of the Berglund Center.
Those who come to skate are asked to bring a toy donation that will be given to children in the unit.
Dr. Jeff Wilson, a Carilion Clinic child and adolescent psychiatrist, said the kids in this unit are most in need of donations. He said toys are given as rewards used in positive reinforcement.
“Our kids, because of their psychiatric or behavioral problems, are often forgotten about. And they are some of the neediest cases in our area because a lot of these kids don't have families or are in child protective services care or have very sick parents," Wilson said.
The public skate is open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Everyone who brings a toy donation will receive free skate rentals.
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