MVH Helps Make Christmas Brighter for Local Children

For most people, 2020 has been a difficult year. The COVID-19 pandemic touched practically every aspect of life creating increases in unemployment, shortages in supplies and anxiety among much of the population. With the holidays approaching, many families in the mid-Mon Valley will not need to worry about providing toys for their children thanks to Monongahela Valley Hospital and the Mon Valley Leathernecks, a group of former Marines who coordinate the local Toys for Tots Campaign.

"The Hospital's generous support means so much to the community," said Wally Fronzaglio, a Donora resident who has served as the U.S. Marine Reserve's Toys for Tots coordinator for 31 years.

This year, Mr. Fronzaglio joined MVH's employees who worked in teams of two, coordinated by the Hospital's Leadership Development Team, to assemble dozens of riding vehicles that included firetrucks and cars fit for princesses.

"We realized that we couldn't conduct our annual Toys for Tots toy-building program as we had in the past," said Daniel F. Simmons, Monongahela Valley Hospitals, senior vice president and chief financial officer who serves as executive sponsor of the Leadership Development Team. "With the COVID-19 restrictions, we could not have 160 managers and supervisors together in one room assembling these toys for local children. We knew we had to find an alternative solution because our Leadership Development Team couldn't M- and wouldn't - let Wally and all of the local children down.

Gordon Watkins maintaining social distancing while assembling firetrucks
Gordon Watkins, assistant director of maintenance and engineering, (l.) and Ward Mosser, director of information technology, maintain social distancing while assembling firetrucks.

"Our commitment to helping make the Christmas of local children happy is just another example of how Monongahela Valley Hospital goes above and beyond to provide quality service to our communities. We are very happy we could continue to support the Leathernecks for the Toys for Tots program," said Mr. Simmons.

In keeping with MVH's tradition, beginning on Monday, Nov. 23, Toys for Tots boxes will be placed throughout the hospital and at some of the health system's outpatient sites for the collection of new, unwrapped toys that will be donated to the local Toys for Tots campaign. Members of the community can drop off toy donations in the Hospital lobby or they can drive to the front entrance and hand them to the security guards without exiting their cars.

Chad Vorderbrueggen applies stickers to a riding vehicle
Chad Vorderbrueggen, a fitness director, from the Center for Fitness and Health, applies stickers to a riding vehicle.
Marissa Dreucci eads the instructions on how to assemble a firetruck
Marissa Dreucci, MVH's director of finance, listens as Wally Fronzaglio, the U.S. Marine Reserve's local Toys for Tots coordinator reads the instructions on how to assemble a firetruck.
Bo Stoioff pose with a few of the vehicles assembled by MVH's Leadership Development Team
Before loading the toys into their trucks, Wally Fronzaglio (far right) and (l. to r.) fellow Leatherneck Tony Menendez and their helper Bo Stoioff pose with a few of the vehicles assembled by MVH's Leadership Development Team.
toy trucks loaded on the back of pickup trucks
Following the assembly, the riding vehicles were loaded in the back multiple pickup trucks for storage until they are distributed to local children.