Lurie Children’s Receives The Toy Foundation’s Children’s Hospital Play Grant

December 20, 2022

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago is honored to be selected as one of the recipients of The Toy Foundation’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants Program. Lurie Children’s grant will support the creation of diverse and inclusive play materials for children of color as well as provide training for volunteer staff.

The Toy Foundation (TTF) is the charitable organization for the North American toy industry and Children’s Hospital Association, which represents over 200 children’s hospitals in the nation. The Children’s Hospital Play Grants program will fund more than $385,000 in play therapy projects and activities at 19 children’s hospitals in the United States.

TTF is partnering with Children’s Hospital Association to improve pediatric care through the healing power of play at hospitals that serve communities of the greatest need. This is the second year that TTF is collaborating with CHA to carry out this initiative.

“We are so grateful to receive this grant from the Play Grant program,” said Nicole Alkaraki, Manager, Children’s Services. “We know play is essential in teaching children’s how to develop social and emotional awareness and learn social values like compassion and inclusivity. This becomes especially important in improving the well-being and self-esteem of children during hospital stays. This grant helps us ensure that patients see themselves in our programming and in providing a more inclusive and equitable environment for our patients and their families through play.”

“The extraordinary physical, emotional and educational benefits of play are well documented,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “We are delighted to help these amazing hospitals deliver the power of play to the children and families they serve every day.”

“Congratulations to the children’s hospital recipients of this year’s TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants,” said Amy Wimpey Knight, president of Children’s Hospital Association. “We are grateful and delighted the Toy Foundation recognizes the importance of play to children’s health—emotionally and physically. Play is necessary therapy for children and families as they navigate health challenges, and we are proud to partner to recognize children’s hospitals’ efforts in caring for the whole child.”

For more information about The Toy Foundation’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants program, visit


About The Toy Foundation

The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501(c)3 children's charity whose mission is to provide philanthropic support and the vital commodity of play to children and families in need, across the country and globe. TTF's donations represent the charitable works of TTF and the toy industry. Last year, TTF provided $360K in cash grants to nearly 4 million children severely impacted by the pandemic. Since its inception in 2003, TTF's signature Toy Bank has provided $225 million in toys to more than 26 million underserved children coping with serious illness, enduring temporary home placements in the foster care system, living with domestic violence, and/or dealing with natural disasters. TTF is also broadening its mission to provide grant funding to children's hospitals to encourage healing through play and to foster a diverse and inclusive culture and pipeline of talent for the toy industry.