Sophomore links toy drive to campus


Courtesy of Allie Henderson

Delivering toys to children in hospitals, Allie Henderson and her group of volunteers help families with sick children during the holidays.

To brighten up the holidays for children in hospitals, sophomore Allie Henderson is having a toy drive for The Florida Hospital and Arnold Palmer Hospital. Since the children in hospitals cannot go out shopping for their friends or families, through the toy drive they have an opportunity to get themselves or their loved ones gifts.

“The toy drive was started in memory of Alicia who was a six-year old who passed away on December 23, 2006 after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor,”Allie said. “When she got her Christmas presents she would take them to all of her friends in the hospital, and we’re carrying on the tradition.”

Toys for both boys and girls can be dropped off in art teacher Matt Henderson’s  or math teacher Melissa Henderson’s room until Friday.

“It makes me feel really happy to donate the toys because I know the holidays can be a hard time for families in the hospital,” Allie said. “Sometimes families can’t get gifts, so knowing that the kids can have presents is encouraging.”

Last year, the toy drive delivered 738 toys to The Florida Hospital and Arnold Palmer Hospital. To help raise toys this year, National Honor Society sponsor Melissa Henderson added an incentive for NHS members that participate.

“I get teary eyed just looking at the gifts that the kids are bringing in,” she said. “I think it’s the most amazing thing you can do. Christmas is all about giving, so I’m super excited. It makes more than just their day, it makes their holiday special.”

By Rachel Montgomery