McLane Children's Medical Center launched its annual toy drive at the beginning of December.
The toys donated are gifts to the hospital, but more specifically, the children that stay there.
Some of the donated toys act as therapy tools and help pediatric patients feel more relaxed when attending therapy sessions. Other toys simply provide entertainment to children that are unable to be home playing with their own toys.
"We know that play is an important part of the healing process and being able to do normal things can actually facilitate healing," Certified Child-Life Specialist Leah Woodward said.
While all play is considered therapeutic, McLane Children's also incorporates 'medical play' where toys and play help patients understand their own illnesses and upcoming medical procedures. But, toys aren't just for work and no play.
"We also celebrate birthdays, we celebrate end of chemotherapy treatments... and so with all of those types of things, the toys that we get during the toy drive help keep us stocked throughout the year and help us celebrate those different milestones," Woodward added.
But as the holidays approach, it can be especially difficult for children in the hospital to be away from their own toys. So, in order to make it feel as much like home as possible, McLane Children's holds their annual toy drive.
"We need anything that's new and unused. The hardest age groups for us to keep materials in stock for are usually infants and teenagers," Woodward said.
"The community has just been amazing so far," Woodward added. "We are always in need though, so we're hoping even past tomorrow that people will still think of us and make donations."
The official last day of the toy drive is Friday, Dec.16. But, McLane Children's Medical Center has never turned down a donation, regardless of when it was offered.
If you would like to donate, you can visit McLane Children's Medical Center in person or donate online at toydrive.sw.org.
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