In a heartwarming display of community spirit, Young Ambassador (YA) Joseph Rillstone, recently completed an incredible Independent Service Project (ISP) for the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF). Joseph, a high school junior who lives in Oxford, CT, was selected a member of the YA Program in December of 2022. Over the following months, Joseph was tasked with completing his ISP. With the aim of bringing joy and comfort to the children in his community, Joseph organized a highly successful toy drive that left a lasting impact on both the recipients at Bridgeport Hospital Emergency Department (ED) in Bridgeport, CT and the community at large.

The toy drive, a part of Joseph’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of others, saw an outpouring of support from community members. The generosity and enthusiasm displayed by everyone involved made this project a resounding success.

Joseph’s dedication and hard work were evident in every aspect of the toy drive. From coordinating an online donation site, to organizing and sorting the toys, Joseph’s attention to detail ensured that the entire process ran smoothly. “The ED can be a very frightening place for a kid, especially when they may be injured,” said Joseph, “Something as simple as a basketball or a MadLibs can make all the difference to a kid when they visit the emergency room. So that’s why I chose to make this my project.”

Joseph’s selfless act of kindness serves as an inspiration to others, showing that even small gestures can have a significant impact. By organizing the toy drive,
Joseph not only brought happiness to the children at Bridgeport Hospital but also fostered a sense of unity and compassion within the community. “It is my hope that the impact of the toy drive extends beyond the doors of that ED. I hope it serves as a reminder of the power of community and the importance of supporting one another,” Joseph recalled, “ And I would like to extend my gratitude to anyone who may have donated. You made some kid’s day at least a little bit better, and that is a very powerful thing.”