GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A Gloucester business is challenging the community to give back this holiday season through its “Stuff the Skiff” donation drive.
Chris Leigh, president of Oyster Cove Boatworks and Yacht Brokerage, and his wife, Katie, say the company decided earlier this month to host the drive to help families with children who are admitted to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.
“We just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to CHKD and thank you for taking care of my son,” Chris Leigh said.
Chris and Katie Leigh’s son, Spencer, was born with an enlarged hole in his heart in 2016. They’ve never forgotten all the doctors and nurses did for them during that dark time.
“It was the scariest moment in my wife and I’s life.” Chris Leigh said. “We watched a team of doctors come in from all over and from Charlottesville. They saved my son’s life.”
Because of that — and knowing what families at the hospital and those staying at the Ronald McDonald House are going through — the business decided to pay it forward through the donation drive.
They want to let other families know they’re not alone.
“We were new parents. That experience in itself, even with a healthy child, can be very isolating. It can be very alone. So having a new baby, your first baby, and him being incredibly sick, I want these families to know they’re not alone. They do have a support system that does care for them and understands where they are. If we can give them a little bit of joy, we’d do this every day of our lives if we could,” Katie Leigh said.
Spencer is now three-and-a-half years old.
The Leighs are forever grateful for the CHKD staff. They say they’re letting others know about the hospital to shed light on all that is done there.
“I’ve said time and time again, we all have a story. This is ours. It could be anyone of us,” Katie Leigh said.
Donation items include crayons, coloring books, Play-Doh , board games, Barbie dolls, puzzles, Xbox or Playstation games and gift cards.
All the items are due by Wednesday Dec. 18 and must be unwrapped.
To drop off the items, visit 5195 George Washington Memorial Highway in Gloucester or call 804-824-9904 .