Power of One: Dr. Toy donates to young hospital patients
Published Sunday, December 4, 2011 1:57PM EST
Last Updated Friday, June 8, 2012 4:51PM EDT
MONTREAL- He's not Santa Claus, but he's close.
Known as Dr. Toy, Norman Brown delivers gifts to boys and girls at Montreal's pediatric hospitals, spreading smiles and cheer wherever he goes.
It all began about 20 years ago, when Brown was able to fix a child's broken toy for him. The yongster's delight led to a personal revelation.
"I could make a difference," said Brown. "I feel good about it, because I've put a smile into that kid's face. He wasn't expecting a situation like this to happen and that makes me happy."
Brown and his daughter Melissa now set out to do that every year, offering many donated items to young patients.
"I was really trying to hold all my tears, but at the same, I was so happy," said Melissa Brown, wiping away tears as she described watching her father donate so generously. "It really touched my heart."
Brown hopes his daughter will take over one day, but not yet.
"I'm 60 and I'm going to go until the motor doesn't work anymore," he said.
His help is a boost for the hospital staff.
"We rely a lot on volunteers and people who come in and make the kids happy. Toys do such a thing, (they) make everybody happy, so we're really happy to have someone like the toy doctor," said Shriners' Hospital head nurse Donna Fitzgerald.
And most importantly, his charity touches the children he helps.
"Oh thank you!" said 12-year-old Peruvian boy Roderigo, who received a Star Wars toy as he awaited an operation at the Shriners' Hospital. "Very generous!... And he is a good person."