The Hewlett Elementary School student council made its annual pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside Queens last month. The students brought toys for the holidays and money raised through a school bake sale.
Hewlett’s student council has been making this visit for the past several years. The students believe that, in some small way, their efforts make a difference.
St. Mary’s caters to children with special needs and debilitative diseases. A majority of the children who receive health care and educational services at the hospital live in Far Rockaway and Freeport, two communities hit hard in Hurricane Sandy.
Included in the visit was a tour of the new hospital wing that has a music therapy center, an art room, a hydrotherapy pool, a physical therapy center and a kids’ store. The students also learned how those specialized state-of-the-art facilities help contribute to improving the children’s health.
“This experience was special because all of the patients we saw greeted us, said hi, and smiled,” wrote Student Council Secretary Tali Winiarsky, a Hewlett fourth-grader. “It was good to see that we were making patients happy. We got to cheer the kids up, which was the best part of all!”
The gifts were placed under the Christmas tree and the children were outside to see Santa Claus arrive as he came down from the hospital’s roof with help from the Bayside Ladder Company firefighters.