Coeur d’Alene Police Dept. fills moving truck with donated toys for sick kids

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department inspired the community to give enough toys to fill a U-Haul truck.

Officers delivered all those donations to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital Monday. Box by box, the officers unloaded holiday cheer for sick kids.

Police Sgt. Shane Avriett has a special passion for this program, now in its fourth year. His son Caiden spent the first six and a half months of his life at the Spokane hospital, in 2014. Avriett can still remember coming to the hospital on Christmas Day to find a ton of donated toys for his son.

“From a father whose son was on life support at four days old, it is truly impactful for both myself and my wife,” Avriett said.

The children’s hospital relies on donations, like the one made Monday, to give out toys on Christmas, to keep the Christmas Store stocked, and to give out toys throughout the year for different occasions.

Providence Health Care Foundation of Eastern Washington Philanthropy Officer Marry Savage said getting toy donations helps redirect other monetary donations to special programs and tools.

“When we receive in-kind donations, then we can take the cash donations that we receive and we can designate those for brand-new pieces of equipment. We can start new programs in the hospital,” Savage said.

So every year, the Coeur d’Alene Police Dept. rallies the community. They are inspired by stories, like Caiden’s.

Sgt. Avriett’s son just turned five. Avriett said despite the years that have passed, he and his wife have not forgotten the Christmas surprise from 2014.

“My wife and I still talk about those donations and how it lifted our spirits just a bit on Christmas morning,” Avriett said.

It’s an act of kindness made years ago that created a lasting legacy.

“We need to think about each other, take care of the kids in our community who don’t get to be home,” Avriett said. “They deserve to have a wonderful Christmas, regardless of the scenario.”

The department also donated toys to Kootenai Health. The majority of donations went to Sacred Heart because it has a much larger children’s department that serves children from across the region.

For those interested in giving to the Providence Health Care Foundation of Eastern Washington, call 509-474-2814. You can contact CPD for information to help its toy donation specifically.