University of Connecticut students can donate to a HuskyTHON toy drive commemorating the organization’s 20th anniversary from now until Jan. 25.
Items on the toy drive wish list include sudoku puzzles, coloring books, headphones and stuffed animals. Students wishing to donate can order the items off of an Amazon Wishlist and a Walmart Registry, or can drop them off at the HuskyTHON office in Student Union room 218C.
All of the toys collected will be donated to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC), according to the wish lists. CCMC is a pediatric hospital in Hartford that specializes in primary care services, emergency care services and surgical services for children, according to its website.
Erin Gallacher, HuskyTHON co-director of family relations, said all items purchased online through the Amazon Wishlist or Walmart Registry will be sent directly to CCMC.
Gallacher said she and the other co-director of family relations, Kerstan Mahland, created the wishlists for the toy drive.
“We looked up (the) most popular toys for different age ranges and loaded them into our carts,” Gallacher said. “Buying toys for toddlers and kids is hard, but Connecticut Children’s Medical Center treats newborns all the way up to 18+. So in addition to toys, we also included small stuffed animals and things such as novels and adult coloring books for the older kids.”
Gallacher said this is not the first year HuskyTHON is doing a toy drive, but said this year they ran it at a different time than usual.
“Usually we do it leading up to Christmas, but this year was so hectic we decided to put it at a time where people are not too busy—winter break,” Gallacher said. “We also decided to let it run through this week just in case people wanted to bring in physical toys to the HuskyTHON office.”
HuskyTHON hopes people donate to the toy drive because CCMC relies on donations, as it is a non-profit hospital, Gallacher said.
“A toy in the hands of a child could be the difference between a positive or horrible hospital experience,” Gallacher said. “Although CT Children’s does try to keep toys stocked, they run out incredibly fast. This keeps the morale up at the hospital and keeps all of the little patients smiling.”
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.