BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For parents of children staying at Baltimore’s Kennedy Krieger Institute, the time leading up to the holidays is spent focusing on getting well, not decking the halls and shopping.
That’s why the center has set up a “Snoasis,” a convenient winter wonderland where parents and families living at the inpatient center can shop for the child getting treatment there and their siblings.
Nathanial recently got an operation to partially correct the effects of cerebral palsy. He and his mom Jill Goodrich have been at Kennedy Krieger for two months, and will remain past Christmas.
Jill lives in the center with Nathanial, even sleeping in his room. So she can forget any thoughts of running out to the mall to supplement Santa’s haul.
Enter Snoasis, which is just down the hall. There are tables and tables full of toys to choose from, and a burning yule log is even projected onto one wall.
Kelly Marcue runs the program, which is in its third year.
All 35 families staying at Kennedy Krieger over the holiday are welcome to shop at Snoasis, where all items have been donated.
Hamad Alameri has been at the center with his son since July. At Snoasis, he found an American Girl doll for his daughter. Perfect, since he can’t get away to the store in Virginia.
Sherry Fisher, Kennedy Krieger’s Special Activities Program Coordinator, recalls another mom who snagged an American Girl doll for her daughter at Snoasis.
“… she got a tear in her eye and said that her daughter had never had anything but a hand-me-down American Girl doll and that it would make her entire Christmas to get a brand new doll.”
“This is a fantastic experience,” Jill says. “This is incredible that they offer this to the parents here. And we’re just very grateful and very blessed.”