This post about the Arkansas Children’s Festival of Stars Toy Drive is sponsored by Arkansas Children’s Hospital. All opinions are my own.
Your eyes are not deceiving you – that is a very old picture of me and my littlest guy! Today I want to share a story that sparked a deep love for Arkansas Children’s Hospital in hopes that by telling it I can help give back to a place that is very near and dear to my heart.
Back when my youngest was about 6 months old, we went in to the doctor for is 6-month well check appointment. I had noticed a few things I wanted to ask the doctor about, so after we measured him and chatted about normal development I asked her. She checked him out, and while I wasn’t prepared to hear the following: “Let’s get you to Children’s immediately for an x-ray.”
With a hungry 6-month-old and a frustrated 3-year-old in tow, I made my way to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for our unscheduled x-ray. I was scared, tired, hungry, and sweaty when we walked into that lobby, and was immediately greeted by some of the sweetest smiling faces asking if we needed help finding where to go. They showed me to the waiting room and I immediately went white as a sheet. Turns out we were there on the radiology unit’s busiest day…and the waiting room showed it. Children and families packed out the place, and my two screaming children were the loudest by far. I settled in, purchased some snacks at the gift shop, and tried to nurse my hungry little guy before his big x-ray.
Our story has a happy ending – everything was fine. The thing is we were cared for so much that day – from the greeters at the door, to the women who helped file our insurance, to the gift shop and cafe employees, to the nurses and doctors and technicians. We didn’t have a life-changing illness or condition to work through, but they treated us with the utmost care and concern. Ever since – every time we drive by the hospital – I stop and say a prayer for the people – patients and employees – inside. And it’s my pleasure and honor to help spread the word about the Festival of Stars Toy Drive!
The Arkansas Children’s Festival of Stars Toy Drive is an annual statewide event hosted by Arkansas Children’s to help make the holidays brighter for patients and families. All toy donations are collected at the Toy Drive on December 14th, as well as at all 12 locations across the state. Toys will be made available on Christmas Eve to families of children who are patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, and to Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale on Christmas Day. Cash and online donations will be used throughout the year to purchase needed comfort items, gift cards and gas cards for families. You can quickly donate and make a huge difference in a child’s life by clicking here. The list below shows the donation locations for donating toys:
You can drop off toys from 7am to 6pm in select locations and enjoy festive holiday music, hot cocoa, snacks and special guests throughout the day. Additionally, when donating, I know it can be hard to know how much to give. A massive hospital surely needs tons of money, right? But every little bit counts – every little bit can do some BIG things!
One of the biggest blessings our family has is the chance to give back, and this year we are beyond excited to give of our time, talents, and resources to Arkansas Children’s Hospital – a place that showed me how lucky we are to be healthy, but how well we’d be taken care of if we weren’t. These toys and donations are going to help children at a time in their life when they need it the most – and will be instrumental in helping them to get better, faster.
Won’t you join us? Come see me at the toy drive on December 14 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital!