Carilion Children’s holiday toy drive will be held this year, but it will look different from the campaigns of past years because of COVID-19.
Because of COVID-19 safety guidelines, children must remain in their hospital rooms. They won’t get visits from Santa, performers to keep them entertained or be able to play with other children in the playroom.
Carilion Children’s is the region’s only children’s hospital. The facility usually relies on corporate sponsors to provide holiday gifts, but because most people are working virtually, employee toy drives are not likely this year. Thus, the clinic has teamed with the Junior League of Roanoke Valley (JLRV) is asking the community to step up and help make the holidays brighter for these children.
“Over the years, we’ve been so fortunate to receive an outpouring of support from our community to make the holidays a little more normal for children who are with us,” said Dr. Donald Kees, interim chair of Carilion Children’s. “This year is different in a lot of ways, but the need is even greater because it may be more difficult for people to donate.”
Participants may donate to the holiday toy drive by buying a toy from the suggested list and bring it to one of three Saturday drive-thru drop-offs: Nov. 21, Nov. 28 and Dec. 5 The drive-thru drop-offs will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the parking lot of Tanglewood Mall outside the former JC Penney. All donations muyst be new.
Participants may donate online, and the money will be used to buy toys, games and crafts for children
Or participants may visit Carilion Children’s Amazon wish list and purchase the item(s) that will be directly mailed to the hospital.
The suggested toy drive donations for 2020 by age group are as follows:
small stuffed animals with fabric eyes; plastic or board books in English and Spanish; stacking toys; baby books, touch books; baby blankets; sippy cups, rattles, teethers; and light-up musical toys.
Toddlers and preschoolers
shape sorters, pop-up toys; sturdy toys with few parts; stuffed animals; dolls; stickers; Play-Doh (name brand, please); preschool age games and card games: Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, Hi Ho Cherry O, Old Maid, Go Fish, etc.; dinosaurs; large, hard plastic animals; Little People toys; wooden puzzles; and Fubbles no-spill bubble tumblers.
Lego sets for boys and girls; art sets, art supplies; craft kits; puzzles; board games: Monopoly, Sorry, Life, Connect Four, etc.; card games with a coated finish: Uno, Skip Bo, Spot It, etc.; all plastic action figures; Hot Wheels cars; large cars and trucks; velvet posters, coloring books; Crayola crayons and markers; Robot/STEM activity kits; and Spanish/bilingual toys.
complex craft kits and Lego kits; gift cards in $10 increments: iTunes, Amazon, Target, Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, Sephora, Ulta, Game Stop; playing cards; board games: Apples to Apples, Yahtzee, Phase 10 Dice, Blokus, etc.; artist quality markers, colored pencils, etc.; intricate coloring books; puzzles; portable Bluetooth speakers; water bottles: Hydroflask, Camel Bak, etc.; over-the-ear headphones, Earbuds; remote control cars/drones; stretched canvases for painting; acrylic paints in small bottles and paint brushes; toiletry sets, nail polish/makeup; and notebooks and journal.
gift bags with wide bottoms and gift cards for Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart for purchase of unique/specific patient needs throughout the year; clothing of all sizes; sweatshirts; sweatpants; underwear; socks; and throw blankets.