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How it Began

Thursday, December 8, 1988 - Twenty eight years ago today, on Thursday December 8 1988, I was 17 years old I was walking into Schneider’s Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park to have brain surgery the next day for a brain tumor. That day I met a seven-year old girl named Tasha. Tasha came into my room and greeted me in her pajamas, she said hello introduced herself and walked out, only later to come back in my room.

Tasha spent many hours with me for the next few days, always trying to make me happy. This little girl was in and out of the hospital throughout the year receiving different treatments for her illness. She received very little family support. She was dropped off and then picked up again when it was time to go home without having a visitor. Tasha was very excited about a holiday party sponsored by the hospital staff and was expecting her family to attend. They unfortunately did not. I was still too ill but my family agreed to take her. When Santa asked her what she had wanted, Tasha replied, “ I would like a teddy bear for friend upstairs.” I felt fortunate to be that friend. Her positive attitude and generous spirit inspired me. When I got out off the hospital I wanted to help children just like Tasha.

In 1992, I held a toy drive during the holidays to benefit children in local hospitals. During the first toy drive I collected over 800 hundred new toys in just two weeks and brought them to three different hospitals. Well that was the beginning of what has become a year round organization. Since 1992, we have collected over one million new toys and have donated them to sick and underprivileged children in over 180 hospitals and child-care facilities. We are a year round 501(C) non-profit organization that helps sick and underprivileged children in any capacity possible. To learn more about The John Theissen Children Foundation and all its program please visit www.jtcf.org or email john@jtcf.org.

John Theissen
Executive Director & Founder 

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John Theissen Children's Foundation - A 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization | 1881 Wantagh Ave. Wantagh, New York - (516) 679-5098
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