There’s nothing like a new toy to brighten a child’s day. For a sick or injured child, toys also bring a sense of comfort – momentarily taking a child outside the walls of their hospital room to help them feel like a kid again.
On May 1, Youngstown State University student Tabitha C. Fitz-Patrick made the day for hundreds of patients at Akron Children’s Beeghly campus in Boardman when she delivered donations from her second annual Toy Drive.
“I wanted to do something that would help our kids and community,” said Tabitha. “My 6-year-old son, Justin, has asthma. We’ve visited the hospital and used its resources many times. This is our way of giving back and saying ‘thanks.’”
Toy drive collection boxes were set up across the YSU campus and at East Side Civics private club throughout the month of April. Students donated age- and gender-appropriate toys from building blocks and board games to teething rings and NERF items.
Tabitha also held a special event at East Side Civics on April 17 that included drinks, food specials, auctions and more. The suggested admission fee? A donation to the toy-drive. The event raised nearly $400.
“This year’s drive exceeded our expectations,” Tabitha said. “It’s encouraging to see YSU students so eager to give back, too. I’m very happy with the final results and grateful to have the opportunity to help the hospital.”