Pham Leads CC&E Thanksgiving Toy Drive

In giving thanks for the good health of her two daughters, Lily Pham, coordinator, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, sought to spread a little joy at Thanksgiving to children at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

“I can’t imagine being stuck in the hospital during the holidays,” Pham said. “I thought toys for Thanksgiving would cheer these kids up a bit.”

Pham collected three wagons full of toys donated by family, friends and coworkers, and delivered them to the hospital with the help of her daughters Katelyn and Natalie, as well as Dubravko Justic, professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, and his son Dominic.

“I didn’t do the exact count, but am sure there were more than 50 boxes of toys,” Pham said.

The idea for the Thanksgiving toy drive stemmed from a Christmas shoebox gift drive at Pham’s daughter’s daycare last year, for which volunteers placed gifts in shoeboxes that were then shipped to children around the world.

“When I asked for help with that drive from the faculty, staff and students here, thinking I would make only a few boxes, I ended up with 34 boxes, plus shipping money to return to the daycare,” Pham said. With that show of generosity, she was confident that a Thanksgiving toy drive would be not only a possibility, but a success this year.

“I must say that we have some very generous people working here,” she said. “I could not have done the shoebox drive or the toy drive without their help.”