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Toy drive being held to benefit kids at Arkansas Children's Northwest

The Festival of Stars Toy and Donation Drive is held annually to collect gifts for kids in the hospital during Christmas, for birthdays and last treatment parties.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Not all kids get to spend the holidays at home, that’s why Arkansas Children’s Northwest held a toy drive Friday, Dec. 10.

The hospital's Festival of Stars Toy and Donation Drive was held at Arkansas Children’s Northwest and at the hospital in Little Rock. The toys donated are given to children in the hospital during Christmas, for birthdays and for last treatment parties. 

Executive director of volunteer engagement, Erica Philips says last year they raised $319,000 in toys and donations statewide.

“It has been really wonderful," she said. "This community is so generous, so giving. So many people have spent a lot of time shopping and they’ve been delivering their gifts today. We’re really on track to have a record year, so we are so excited. It’s great news for the kids and families that are in the hospital."

Phillips says coming to the hospital for children and parents can be scary and they want to help alleviate that any way they can.

“To be able to have a toy or a gift really creates you know a sense of normalcy, it makes kids kind of forget about the pain or frustration or the nervousness, especially during the holidays," she said. "Being in the hospital is nerve-racking time in and of itself and then to be here during the holiday season can be really hard. And so, these toys really make an amazing difference. It creates some magic moments.”

They will be outside the hospital accepting donations until 7 p.m. Friday evening. If you aren’t able to make it by then you can still donate and find their wish list here.

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