BIRMINGHAM, AL (AP) - Christmas came early at UAB Hospital Wednesday, as hundreds of toys filled the lobby of the West Pavilion Atrium, including 142 bicycles. Every single one was donated by an employee.
"We ask our employees at all levels to give gifts that the salvation army picks up to ensure children throughout the community have a great Christmas season," says Anthony Patterson, senior vice president of inpatient services.
UAB hospital has been partnering with the Salvation Army since 2011. The focus on bicycles is new, and it's taking off.
"This year and last year, our theme was to focus on being able to give bicycles to children. We set a goal this year of 100, and ended up hitting 140." Said Patterson.
The Salvation Army says UAB is one of the only partners in the area to do a bike drive.
"Today has been a great day for the Salvation Army" said Major Roger Glick. "The magnitude of bicycles that are here is amazing, and we are very grateful"
The toys were quickly hauled away to the Salvation Army Toy Shop. The shop gives parents a chance to shop for Christmas gifts for their children, for free. There are gifts for newborns, all the way to 14 years old. Parents do have to register ahead of time.
"We so value the relationship with the salvation army so we can contribute back to the community at a great time during this holiday season." Says Patterson.
You can find more information on Salvation Army services and how you can help here.