Switch to full style
A special area for charitable causes and ValiantFans.com community service. The "heart" of the messageboard.
Causes and organizations supported by messageboard members are of their own choosing. Individual participation is completely voluntary.
Post a reply

Toy Drive Results

Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:41:42 am

Hey all - since you guys were a major assist in accomplishing this, I thought you might want to see the results;

(click on the thumbnails for the larger picture)

First, we have the group shot - where we take all the toys we've purchased and that were donated by others and gather them for a group shot:

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/shriner'sgroupshot.jpg" height=300 width=300>

(Sadly, the majority of the comics were in the longboxes supporting the middle section of toys - but we'll see them later.)

So, after the picture was taken, we boxed everything up (for easier transport) and loaded it into our van and a friend's car. It was a difficult drive, as the only windows I could see out of were the front and the driver's side seat window. But I'll let the pictures tell that story:

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/van1.jpg" height=300 width=300>

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/van2.jpg" height=300 width=300>

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/van3.jpg" height=300 width=300>

And my partner in crime's smaller vehicle was also loaded:

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/car1.jpg" height=300 width=300>

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/car2.jpg" height=300 width=300>

Our destination? Shriner's Burns Institute in Cincinnati, OH. We'd be headed to the main activity center, where the tree would be located. Santa was due to arrive at 1:00PM on Christmas Eve (the next day), so we had a lot of work to do here and only a few scant hours to do it. We did pause a moment to take some pictures of the community area, though:

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/insideshriner's1.jpg" height=300 width=300>

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/insideshriner's2.jpg" height=300 width=300>

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/insideshriner's3.jpg" height=300 width=300>

Once we arrived at Shriner's, it was time for the load-in phase. We placed all the toys on carts, and met up with the nurses and volunteers of Shriner's Burns Institute. Although we would be assisting, they had the unenviable task of first inspecting and then wrapping a good portion of what we were bringing to them.

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/loadin1.jpg" height=300 width=300>

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/loadin2.jpg" height=300 width=300>

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/loadin4.jpg" height=300 width=300>

(Those two longboxes on the bottom of the cart? Yep, those are from KC. I also received another long box, 1/2 from Zach and the other half from a friend - GREAT WORK, guys!)

After these pictures, we all got very busy. However, when it came time to deliver one certain item, it required that I return to the home with an empty van, and bring back three items. Assembley was required for the furniture piece of it, and the initial setup was also handled by me (not too many tech savvy folks at the Hospital that day). So, I headed up to the Activity Room:

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/activityroom.jpg" height=300 width=300>

And roughly an hour later, had completed the setup of this:

<img src="http://www.ricbyrne.com/ToyDrive2k5/xboxsetup.jpg" height=300 width=300>


:thumb: :applause:

As a side note, after I had setup the Xbox, we cleaned up and prepared to leave. I knew that the kids wouldn't get to see the Xbox 360 right away, as they had to inspect it first. So, I packed up and went back to the van in the parking lot. As I pulled out of the lot, one of our assistants for the day came out of the entrance, waving frantically. I assumed I must have forgotten something, or left something behind, so I stopped as she ran to the car.

"Come inside," she said. "You've got to see this."

Confused, I followed, leaving the car running, blocking the exit from the parking lot (luckily, I don't think anyone else needed to leave before I returned). The volunteer rushed me up the steps, explaining along the way - it seems that they decided to rush the inspection, so that the kids would get to play it as soon as possible. We walked up to the viewing window into the Activity Room, and there I saw it - four kids already having a blast, playing one of the racing games.

Thank you all. That moment was something far beyond what I expected. For even a few moments, those kids completely forgot the reasons why they were there, instead they were thoroughly thrilled, excited and chattering out phrases like "Cool!" and "Did you see THAT!" to each other. Even now, I'm starting to tear up a little just thinking about it.

I owe every one of you who donated to this cause. I'd actually like to thank all of you by name, but I know that some of you wanted to remain anonymous - so I'll just have to satisfy myself with this.


I'll *never* forget this.

Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:22:33 pm


Tue Dec 27, 2005 1:23:53 pm

I'm touched and amazed and proud for you Ric.


Tue Dec 27, 2005 2:36:31 pm

A Great Accomplishment...


Tue Dec 27, 2005 5:09:23 pm


Tue Dec 27, 2005 9:34:22 pm

Great job Ric! :thumb:

Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:52:10 pm

a big guy with an even bigger heart! :thumb:

Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:18:11 am

Do we have any plans or ideas on what to do next Christmas ? We could get started now. Little bits here and there.

Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:43:12 am

truly awe inspiring Ric. :clap:

Wed Jul 12, 2006 8:16:01 am


I've already begun a few minor gatherings here and there. A local shop (Clifton Comics & Games) has already donated about 400 recent comics (mainstream stuff that they overbought, so Runaways, New Avengers, Infinite Crisis, things like that). Our very own KC is sending some books my way to start organizing into runs, so that's another set.

Plus, I have word that something ELSE may have arrived at the hospital - my contact there is on vacation, so I'm waiting for her to return before I confirm it - but from what it sounds like, I may be giving BIG kudos to two members on this forum for it.

My goal this year is to get the PS3 with a similiar setup as we had for the Xbox 360. This was going to be much easier to accomplish when the PS3 was going to be released this quarter - it will be a little more difficult now that it's being dropped in November, but by all that is holy, we'll make it happen.

Right now, though, let's focus on CFF. We can bring focus back around to this once the CFF fundraising efforts are done and we've all given our pocketbooks time to recover. :) :thumb:
Post a reply