The UC Davis Children's Hospital Child Life Department this year will be the beneficiary of the Rosie Carollo Christmas Lights Toy Drive, an annual toy drive held in memory of Rosie Carollo, who was born at UC Davis Children's Hospital in 2002 and passed away in 2004 from a rare form of childhood epilepsy.
"Rosie was our first child and the light of our lives," said Rosie's mother, Nicole Carollo. "When she passed, I was almost desperate to find a way to help other children like her. I thought, 'I cannot take care of my baby anymore, but I can help others.'"
Then, while strolling through their Arden-Arcade neighborhood and enjoying the holiday decorations, Nicole and her husband, George, decided that one way they could help other families of sick children was by hosting a toy drive. Each year, the Carollos place barrels in front of their home for people to use to drop off toys.
"The children that we have lost will never, ever be forgotten, and all of their special stories will radiate through us for the rest of our lives," Nicole Carollo said.
The toy drive is part of the Carollo's extensive Christmas display. Their home at 3961 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento is festooned with Christmas decorations. This year, the toy drive will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. For more information, visit Rosie's Toy Drive on Facebook.