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Seaford Resident Uses a Special Talent to Give Back to Pediatric Patients at Winthrop - Archived
March 14, 2012

For retired consulting engineer Carl Graber of Seaford, his special talent for handcrafting wooden toy trucks for his five grandchildren, nephews and neighbors is more than just an enjoyable hobby. It’s a unique way through which he has been able to give back to a place that he holds near and dear to his heart – Winthrop-University Hospital.

Mr. Graber, a long-time patient of Winthrop, is thankful for the world-class care that he’s received here. To show his appreciation, Mr. Graber has supported the Hospital through generous donations and has used his talent to bring joy to pediatric patients. Recently, he donated another 25 2x4 trucks to Winthrop’s Child Life Program, bringing his total donation of hand-crafted wooden toy trucks to 100.

“Great time, care and thought have been put into each of Mr. Graber’s donations,” said Nicole Almeida, MS, CCLS, Director of the Child Life Program at Winthrop. “We appreciate Mr. Graber’s generosity and all of the specially crafted trucks that he has so beautifully made, which have provided countless hours of imaginative playtime for our young patients.”

In addition to collecting surplus materials from local construction projects, Mr. Graber cuts and drills the wood; as well as sands, paints and assembles all of the parts to make an array of trucks, station wagons, vans, coupes, and the last addition to his fleet – crayon trucks. While his efforts to put the trucks together are great, the reward is even greater.

“The kids get a kick out of the trucks and they help bring a smile to their faces. It makes me feel good to do something nice for them,” said Mr. Graber, who also sells his hand-crafted trucks at the Massapequa Reformed Church’s annual fair and auction and donates all of the proceeds back to the church.

Winthrop’s Child Life Program is dedicated to helping children understand and cope with the hospital experience. Certified Child Life Specialists utilize therapeutic play, arts and crafts, entertainment and playful education to ensure that the hospital experience is as stress-free as possible for children and their families. Child Life Specialists are available in the Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Unit, the Cancer Center for Kids Outpatient Center, the Pediatric Specialty Center and the Hagedorn Pediatric Inpatient Center.

For more information about the Child Life Program at Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit

Contact: Leanna Cherry
Public Relations Manager
(516) 663-2234

Carl Graber of Seaford (center) joins with Nicole Dziamba, Intern, Winthrop’s Child Life Program (left) and Certified Child Life Specialist Imogene Harrington (right) as he presents his 100th wooden toy truck to Winthrop-University Hospital.

Seaford resident Carl Graber with 25 of his hand-crafted wooden toy trucks, which he recently donated to Winthrop-University Hospital’s Child Life Program, bringing his total truck donation to 100.