Candy Cane Lane brings toys, joy and the spirit of giving to our patient families

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Neither pandemic nor snowstorm could stop the 2020 edition of The Floating Hospital’s Candy Cane Lane! Adjusted for both public-health protocols during ongoing Covid concerns and inclement weather, the annual gift event hosted 72 families for three days the week of Dec. 15-18 at our main clinic in Long Island City.

The Floating Hospital staff volunteers transformed office space into a winter wonderland for families, featuring glittering lights, “fields” of snow and trees with all the trimmings. Doors and ordinary office objects became part of the set, wrapped up and decked out in bows to look like oversize gifts.

But the stars of the show were the piles of gifts awaiting special delivery—nearly $73,000 of items and in-kind donations by our community of supporters who ensured gifts made it to our doorstep via Amazon Wishlist or personal delivery. And judging from the pictures, all efforts paid off. (Check out the slideshow below.)

Kids were free to poke around and select their items from a treasure trove of toys and games, winter outerwear, pajamas, socks, handmade pillowcases and dresses (an annual tradition from the ladies of Montrose, Penn.). Older teens and adults received gift cards and also had their pick of pajamas and knitted winter accessories.

“Our community’s generosity brightened the lives of countless families in need. The toys and clothing dazzled, but the biggest gift to our families is the knowledge that someone cares,” said Barbara LaPlaca, The Floating Hospital marketing director who also served as creative director for the event.

After the on-site bonanza, The Floating Hospital’s Good Health Shuttle delivered gifts and items directly to 10 shelters in our service area so families celebrating Christmas and Kwanzaa could also have some holiday cheer.

Thank you to all our supporters who donated gifts, items, time and helped make this a memorable event in a challenging year.

Since 1866, The Floating Hospital has been the largest provider of healthcare and education to families living with homelessness. Based in Long Island City, it provides comprehensive primary, dental and behavioral-health services, and health-education to patients living in more than 300 shelters and domestic violence safe houses throughout New York City.

In 2021, The Floating Hospital moved into a new modern main clinic in Long Island City, and continue to support patients in satellite clinics at family homeless shelters and public housing complexes in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

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