Donated toys due to deliver smiles at Children’s Hospital of Georgia

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 6:25 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Patients at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia are facing some of the most difficult times of their lives.

“When you think about the life of a day for a kid here ... not so fun. They have to do treatments, they have to do medicines, they have to do all the things that no one wants to do,” said Stephanie Grayson, a child life specialist with the hospital.

Plus quarantining and restricted family visits make it even harder.

So the Shepeard Community Blood Center wanted to bring back some joy by donating hundreds of toys, packing a truck full in the hopes of bringing smiles to many children. The toys were provided by the blood center’s staff and well as blood donors.

“I am a mother. It’s really hard not to view everything through the lens of a being a mother,” said Ashley Whitaker, director of community resources at the blood center.

“If my children were there, I would want them to have some comfort and something to take their mind off of it, and I hope if anything, these toys do that for them.”

The hospital would typically clean toys and give them out to patients, but with COVID-19 safety measures, patients are going through a lot of toys much quicker.

“It’s hard. They don’t get to see their brothers and sisters every day. They only get to have one or two family members that get to hang out with them, so having something that reminds them of home really makes a difference,” Grayson said.

It’s a difference for both patients and their families trying to make it through hard times.

“A stuffed animal, a LEGO kit, a coloring book — something that can keep their attention and make them feel better when they are in the hospital,” Whitaker said.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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