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Department Organizes Annual Toy Drive For Children's Hospital

Dec. 13, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Meredith Mohr

Air Kat and kidThe department of health and kinesiology is sponsoring the 3rd annual Holiday Toy Drive, organized by Brent Estes. Toys can be dropped off in Health and Kinesiology Building Room 218 or Room 221 by Tuesday (Dec. 14).

The toys should follow “hospital regulations” as well – new unwrapped toys only, and no religious affiliation. They can be for ages newborn to 18 years. Toys will be delivered to the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston on Wednesday (Dec.15). Faculty and students in health and kinesiology will distribute toys floor by floor, room by room.

Estes originally developed the toy drive as a service project in his KIN 363 “Test and Measurement” course.

“A routine doctor visit in 2008, at Texas Children's Hospital for my son, Cullen, inspired the idea for a toy drive,” Estes said. “As parents, we sometimes take for granted one of the most important things in life — the health and well-being of our children."

After sharing his thoughts with his KIN 363 students, he challenged them to help him organize and plan for the event. In 2008, they raised over $2,000 in money and toys. In 2009, the department more than doubled their efforts, with donations from Wal-mart, Woodforest National Bank and Best Buy.

Last year, over $5000 was raised in toys and money. Walmart of Conroe was heavily involved in the toy drive and will donate again this year, according to Estes.

“Last year, a representative from Conroe Walmart and Woodforest Bank joined us in delivering the toys to the hospital. The plan is for them to join us again this year,” Estes said. “The reason we partnered with the Conroe Wal-Mart is because they were the most willing to help us. The Huntsville Walmart has donated a total of $350 in gift cards the past two years.”

On the day they deliver the toys to the hospital, Estes brings about 10 students from his 363 class with him, and they are escorted by nurses from the child life department to different floors of the hospital where they deliver toys room by room. Estes said that everyone involved gets something meaningful out of the experience

“Many hugs and some tears are exchanged. It is a very eye-opening and invaluable experience for the SHSU students,” Estes said. “Each one of them walks away from the experience with a renewed sense of appreciation for the blessings in their life.”

For more information, contact Estes at bce001@shsu.edu or 936.294.1159.

 

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