A pair of Ohio siblings have donated nearly 50-thousand toys over the last six years to children who have to spend the holidays in the hospital. Back in 2015, siblingsTylerandMonica Slaventeamed up to help kids who are in the hospital on Christmas. Tyler, then a freshman and his sister, Monica, a senior at Ohio Virtual Academy used their connections through the school to collect donations statewide.
That first year, the siblings and their team of volunteers collected 800 toys for children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Each year after, they nearly doubled their numbers, collecting over 20-thousand toys in 2019. And even with the pandemic in full swing in 2020, they still managed to collect over 11-thousand toys. This year they hope to at least match that number, which would bring their seven-year total to 58-thousand donated toys.
Each year, they load up the toys and deliver them directly to the children, which Tyler says makes all the hard work worthwhile. "Once you get on the [hospital] property, it is just phenomenal. They're so friendly and welcoming and spirited," Tyler says. "It's a true joy to be around." He adds that the toys do more than bring holiday cheer, they provide a much-needed distraction from being in the hospital for Christmas. "Seeing a child who truly understands the joy of Christmas is priceless.”