Family Upholds 10-Year Tradition of Giving at Miller Children’s Hospital

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During the holiday season, families honor and remember their loved ones through a variety of traditions. John Hinton has made it his mission to honor his late grandson, Tyler Garcia, by giving back to the hospital that brought him to remission after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Tyler was a patient at the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. After defying the odds and going into remission, Tyler’s life tragically ended when he was struck by a car in 2005.

“We’re going into our 10th year,” says Hinton. “I do this because I know it’s what my grandson would want me to do. I love giving back. I could have a bad year, and this one day makes it all better.”

After his passing, Hinton set up the Tyler Garcia Toy Drive is his grandson’s memory. All year long, Hinton, his family and friends collect toys for children of all ages. Hinton works closely with the Child Life Program at Miller Children’s to organize and deliver dozens of toys to patients during the holiday season. Each year, Hinton stacks his toys high in red wagons and personally delivers them to each patient at their bedside and in pediatric playrooms.

“It’s hard for children to understand why they need to be in the hospital,” says Rita Goshert, Child Life manager, Miller Children’s. “It becomes more emotional during the holidays when our patients are used to being surrounded by friends and family at home. So when they see a family from their community do something special just for them for them, it takes away some of those feelings of isolation.”

This year, Hinton and his family will make their delivery to Miller Children’s on Monday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. Additional toys will be left behind for patients who are either in isolation and can’t accept visitors, or for patients who will be admitted to Miller Children’s throughout the holiday season.

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