Giving Back

Giving Back

Jenna Skanberg, Staff Writer

Helping people in need is always important, but it is especially impactful during the holiday season. For this reason, the Titan Times Newspaper staff partnered with the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest – an organization that provides toys to kids receiving cancer treatment – and purchased gifts on December 7th for donation. We also spoke with board member Paul Maiellaro about the organization as a whole.

2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest. The organization is based in Orland Park and has 63 locations throughout the United States. In the 25 years that the organization has been around, they have donated to over 15,000 kids with cancer. The group is hopeful about helping many others by the end of 2021.

It all started when the founder’s son, Martin, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at 7 years old. After treatments, Martin’s mother would provide him toys, which made each treatment a little easier to get through. She then decided that she wanted to help other kids in the same way, and the Treasure Chest started. Their goal is to provide as many kids as possible with comfort while they endure painful cancer treatments.

Throughout the year, there are many fundraising events for the organization. A full calendar of events is available on their website, Anyone can participate in these fundraisers if they wish to donate money or toys to the organization. They accept all toys for kids of all ages, and right now, they are especially in need of gifts for older teens, like video games and headphones, and gift cards. In addition, the website makes it easy to donate money directly to the Treasure Chest. 

Schools, businesses, and committees are also encouraged to start their own fundraisers. Paul Maiellero says that one of his most successful fundraising events was an open house event at a local State Farm Insurance office, where people came, ate, listened to music, participated in raffles, auctions, mingled, and had a really fun time.  Such events are a great opportunity for members of the community to enjoy themselves while also providing joy for kids in need.

Additionally, the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest is always looking for volunteers – both at the foundation and at various fundraisers. Therefore, even if you can’t donate toys, you can donate your time to this great cause.

Overall, the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest is a fantastic organization that Titan Times is proud to be working with this holiday season. We wish them the best of luck in reaching their donation goals.