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Students deliver large check to buy toys for Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)

May 8, 2018

Five students and their teachers from Marion Jordan School in Palatine brought joy to medical staff at NCH as they carried in a check for $3,000. Students and staff wanted to create autism awareness – April was Autism Awareness Month – by helping the hospital purchase more toys for two sensory rooms designed for patients with disabilities. The rooms are in the main Emergency Department and were designed last fall for patients with developmental disabilities.

Items currently in the sensory rooms include things like a weighted blanket for comfort, iPads for distraction, colorful balls and soft toys. Emergency Department Manager Rachel Rosanova gave the students an opportunity to tour the rooms and play with some of the items.

“This really is just the beginning,” Rosanova told the group, referring to the newness of the rooms and how the rooms work. She shared with them that an advanced practice nurse with experience working with developmentally disabled individuals is on staff to help calm the patients who use the rooms.

“We’re hoping this money can help to do more,” said Marcy Meyer, a teacher at Marion Jordan, who planned the fundraising project.

Meyer said students at Marion Jordan School raised funds along with help from students at Walter R. Sundling Junior High School (both in District 15) in Palatine. They celebrated autism awareness by selling things like autism wristbands and T-shirts. There are five classes and about 28 students currently attending Marion Jordan in the Structured for Independence Program. All students live in the northwest suburbs, and by proximity, would be taken to the NCH ED if they needed emergent care.

Funds to create the two sensory rooms at NCH were donated by Arlington Heights residents Chris and Susan Dungan, Marcy Burhop, also of Arlington Heights, and the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights.

Read more about the sensory rooms.