Today@Sam Article

College Collecting Toys For Annual Children's Hospital Drive

Dec. 1, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Natasha Rider

sport management students with toys
Participants from SHSU's sport management program show off toys they collected during last year's event, which were delivered to families in need at Texas Children's Hospital. —Photo by Brian Blalock

‘Tis the season for merriment, food, and gifts. But when a child is ill, it can be a trying time, both financially and emotionally.

For the past eight years, Sam Houston State University has set out to brighten the season for children and their families undergoing treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital with a holiday toy drive, sponsored by the SHSU Department of Kinesiology, the School of Nursing and the College of Health Sciences.

The drive began as a small class service project for associate professor of sport management Brent Estes’ students in 2008 and has grown “tremendously” over the years, he said. 

However, toy donations are not the only option to contribute. This year monetary donations can be made online through the university.

“All the money raised will be used to purchase new toys and electronics that we will deliver and distribute to Texas Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, Dec. 9,” Estes said. “Patients at the hospital range in age from birth to 20.”

Once the toys are collected, a group of 10-12 students, as well as faculty and administrators, will caravan to the hospital, where they will play “Santa” for an afternoon, going room-to-room passing out toys for the children. Whatever toys aren’t passed out are kept by the hospital for patients—and sometimes their siblings—who cannot go home for the holidays.

Estes said the project allows students to get the best gift of all—the gift of experience.

“This toy drive really puts things into perspective for our students, and I think there’s a lot of benefit for them as well,” he said. “This service project would not be possible without the generous support of our faculty, staff, students, and community members.”

Those who would like to donate a toy to this year’s drive must follow rules set out by the hospital, which include that the toy must be new and unwrapped and cannot include any religious affiliations.

Toys can be dropped off in Health and Kinesiology Center Room 218 and online monetary donations will be accepted through Dec. 8.

All donations are tax deductible, and those making online contributions will receive an email receipt.

For more information, contact Estes at 936.294.1159 or visit the toy drive's Facebook page. 

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