Kenya's world beaters joined Toby Tanser, the Shoe4Africa Foundation director, and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) management in offering Christmas gifts to the children at the facility.
The Shoe4Africa Children Hospital is within Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
Two-time Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui, four-time New York Marathon winner Mary Keitany, former London Marathon champion Martin Lel, 1992 3,000m steeplechase Olympics gold medallist Mathew Birir and his brother Jonah Birir helped distribute gifts to 230 children who are admitted at the facility.
According to Toby, Christmas time is the most vulnerable time to be admitted at any hospital and he has seen the need to always spend some time with the sick kids as one way of motivating them.
“My wife and I have been doing this since the hospital was built and it’s always our joy to come and give the gifts to the sick children. When everyone else is celebrating this festive season, they have no one to turn to and that is why we are here,” said Toby, who was accompanied with his wife Linda Chelimo Saina.
Toby also launched a modern basketball court at the facility.
“We have medical students and also the patients who are on the road to recovery who can use the facility. We want to make the hospital a community facility and we will this week launch the construction of a football pitch nearby,” said the director.
Tanui said that he was happy with what Toby is doing to the community.
“Everybody is celebrating Christmas and it’s good to always remember those who don’t have. Sharing with the sick kids is something good and I would like to urge others to always remember them,” he said.
“Many of the children here have never received a gift and it was a good idea to make them feel happy during this season. Toby has done a lot to the community and we should always be ready to emulate him,” said Keitany.