Ladybug Love for the Holidays | A Toy Drive

Ladybug Love for the Holidays | A Toy Drive

My Previous Blog

“I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me…”

One year while Atia was undergoing cancer treatment, we were faced with the grim reality that she may be spending Christmas in the hospital. I’d already spent a Mother’s Day there and it was beyond depressing; I couldn’t imagine being there for Christmas, too.

Atia’s #1 fear was that Santa wouldn’t know where she was and that she wouldn’t get any presents. My #1 fear, as it pertained to Christmas, was that Steve and I would be “trapped” in the hospital and unable to buy presents for Atia – thus, resulting in the fulfillment of her prophesy. The thought of that was stifling; it provoked such grief and sorrow.

Thankfully, Atia’s health improved a bit and we weren’t admitted after all.

“I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me…”

Unfortunately, many children and their families aren’t as fortunate as we were. They will be spending Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza in the hospital. Beyond suffering the painful side effects of cancer treatment and all the other frightening complications, they may be tormented with the thought of getting NO PRESENTS.

No tree. No lights. No feast. No home for the holidays.

In hopes of bringing some joy and smiles to these children and families, Atia’s Project Ladybug Fund has launched a toy drive campaign called, “Ladybug Love for the Holidays”. Now through December 16th, we are collecting new, unwrapped toys at various locations around the Chicagoland area (listed below the video). All toys will directly benefit pediatric oncology patients at The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital.

In her own words, 4 year old Atia explains what we’re doing and why it’s important.


If you aren’t in Chicago, or don’t have time to shop, but still want to help please consider making an online donation by clicking HERE.

Punky’s Pizza
2130 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 772-2990

Abeille Beauty
2504 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614-1848
(773) 904-8710
*20% off discount on salon services for new customers who donate toys

Collective Dance
1730 West Fullerton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 281-5678

Lakeshore Academy of Artistic Gymnastics
937 W Chestnut St
Chicago, IL 60642-5404
(312) 563-9400
*FREE CLASS with every toy donation

Hungry? Restaurant
1673 Algonquin Road
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
(847) 439-5700

Pump It Up
684 West Lake Street
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 941-7867

Fratellos Pizzeria
426 North York Street
Elmhurst, IL 60126

Spring Hill Auto Body, Inc.
469 E. Main St.
East Dundee, IL 60118

Outback Steakhouse
5642 Northridge Drive
Gurnee, IL 60031
(847) 599-1300

VILLA PARK Parks and Recreation
Iowa Community Center
338 N. Iowa Avenue
Villa Park, IL 60181
(630) 834-8970 x103

Vignette Home Decor, Inc.
1952 W. Fabyan Parkway
Batavia, IL  60510
(630) 483-3000


Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • Are there better gifts to give than others?

  • In reply to ac311:

    Thank you so much for your inquiry. Here's what the hospital requested:

    Comer Children's Hospital's Child Life 2011 Wish List:

    General Needs:
    1. UNO Cards
    2. Pay-Doh (small party size containers)
    3. Bubbles in no-spill tumblers
    4. "I Spy" / "Look & Find" books
    5. Play Station III, X-Box 360, Wii & Game Cube games (Rated EC/E/E10+/T)
    6. Nintendo DS Lite game systems & games
    7. I-Pods, MP3 Players, Portable CD Boom Boxes
    8. New release DVD movies (Raged G, PG, PG-13)
    9. Batteries - AA, C, D, 9-volt

    1. All plastic toys: birth - 24 mo
    2. Rattles
    3. Musical & light up toys
    4. Board books - no fabric

    Preschool / School Age:
    1. Art supplies and Craft kits (glue or paint must be non-toxic)
    2. Medical Play Kits
    3. African American baby dolls & Barbies (all plastic)
    4. Action figures
    5. Matchbox Cars

    1. Teen Support Gift Cards (Target, Best Buy, I-Tunes)
    2. Art supplies and Craft kits (glue or paint must be non-toxic)
    3. Hand held electronic games (i.e., 20 Questions, Connect 4, Battleship...)
    4. Journals, Scrapbooks
    5. Word Search puzzle books, comic books, Sudoku
    6. Sorry, Monopoly, Connect 4

    All toys MUST BE:
    1. Brand new (tags and packaging still on all items)
    2. Non-violent
    3. Durable and plastic
    4. Non-denominational
    5. Non-toxic
    6. Non-edible (No food please)
    7. Unwrapped

    They are UNABLE to accept:
    1. Fabric or handmade items
    2. Anything with Latex
    3. Small rubber balls
    4. Magnetic toys
    5. Anything breakable (i.e., ceramic, glass...)
    6. Candles

  • In reply to Laura Lutarewych:

    Thank you for the list! I want to make sure I don't donate something they can't use!

  • Laura,

    Thanks for organizing such a wonderful effort. Juko Nails is right around the corner from me. I will drop some toys off this weekend for the toy drive.

    Caitlin Giles

  • In reply to Caitlin Giles:

    That’s great! And thanks for helping spread the word, Caitlin.

  • Hi Laura!
    This is Amy Cassman...and we chatted on Donna's Good Things wall, the other day. I just wanted to thank you (and Atia!!) for doing such amazing things for these kids! I found out that Lacey did, in fact get her Comfort Basket...and LOVED it!!

    In addition, I am posting this DAILY on FB, and am asking my friends and family to share it, as well.

    Thank you so very much...Can't wait to donate!!!

    Happy and Healthy Holidays to you and your family~

    Amy Cassman

  • In reply to Amy Cassman:


    I can't tell you how delighted I am to hear that Lacey received a Ladybug Comfort Basket and it brought her some joy. Thank you so much for helping spread the word about Atia's Project Ladybug Fund. I sincerely appreciate the support. We are always looking for ways to grow so we can make a more meaningful impact for the brave warriors prince and princesses battling cancer and their families.

    I would be ever so grateful if you encouraged your friends and family to LIKE our Facebook page too: ATIA'S PROJECT LADYBUG FUND

    Many thanks!

  • In reply to Amy Cassman:

    I thought you also might like to see the Project Ladybug video featuring Atia's Journey. CLICK HERE

  • In reply to Amy Cassman:

    Amy, how can I get a hold of you and your family in the future. We have some upcoming events that I think you'd like, and even some opportunities to honor Lacey and her battle with cancer.

Leave a comment