During the 2013 holiday season, Denver’s Mini5280 club gave the 50–60 families in residence at Craig Hospital a special treat. While the 250 members of the automobile club are known for their passion for new and classic Mini Coopers, they also are devoted to giving to others. This year, Mini5280 collected toys for Craig Hospital.
Chris Chappell, Craig Hospital corporate relations specialist and a Mini5280 member, says for the past five years, the club supported a holiday donation program with Children’s Hospital. When that program fell through the cracks, it created an opportunity for the toy drive to benefit Craig Hospital.
Chappell, along with Craig Hospital outpatient and nursing staff, organized the effort. He coordinated pickup and drop off locations in Longmont and Thornton. Drivers got into the holiday spirit by decorating their hoods with reindeer and antennae with miniature Christmas trees. A bucket brigade of elves, a toy-filled room in the clinic, and the good cheer of hospital staff completed the effort. Altogether 75–100 toys were donated.
“Every kid pretty much got what they wanted. It was pretty phenomenal how it worked out,” Chappell says.
The Mini5280 club intends to make the Craig Hospital toy drive an annual event. Chappell, who has been a member since he got his Mini Cooper seven years ago, describes the organization as an Apple-based subculture. Members enjoy customizing their cars’ performance and/or appearance to reflect their tastes. Chappell’s association with Craig Hospital goes back further. He was a patient at Craig Hospital 13 years ago, and he’s worked for the hospital for the last four years.