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St. Mary’s kids find the holiday spirit

During the holiday season, youngsters at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside get inundated with new toys from individuals and groups, but this year they have decided to give back.

Patients are singing Christmas carols, which are being videotaped to be viewed by prekindergarten classes on Long Island.

They are also making holiday cards to be sent to a senior citizens’ nursing home. “It’s their way of giving back and they are very excited,” said Leah Friedman, supervisor of the therapeutic activities department. “It shows the strength and courage of the kids,” she added

There are also plans to make a group music video in the spring in which they will perform “We Are Family.” About 80 patients and outpatients are expected to participate.

“So many people do so much for the kids and there are a lot of toys given,” Friedman said. “This is the first time they are giving back to the community.”

The youngsters seem to be getting a kick out of it, too, and it helps with their therapy, Friedman noted.

Aliyah, 14, said it makes her feel happy to give back. “Making other people happy makes me happy too,” she said.

Lindsey, 16, agreed. “It feels great to give back. They give so much to us and it feels good to be able to give back to them,” she said.

Jesus, 9, says the effort makes him happy, too. “I like giving other people things to make them smile because then I smile,” he said.

Friedman said the videos will be posted online as well so that other hospitals can view them.

See complete story at Queens Chronicle.