For the past six years, two siblings have gathered thousands of toys throughout Ohio to donate them to children at a Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

Up to now, Tyler and Monica Slaven have donated nearly 50,000 toys to children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. This holiday season, the siblings expect to bring another 11,500 for the kids.

“They’re not in there typically for a routine they visit. That’s the sad thing. I mean, they either been there for a while or they’re in pretty bad shape, those are the kids that need brightened up the most. They’re not going to be in there for a day then get to go home, most likely,” Tyler told Local12.

“Why not do a toy drive for kids that are kind of down and not able to get around and poor health conditions, especially around Christmas? So that was when the idea was born,” Tyler added.

Six years ago, Tyler and Monica were both students at the Ohio Virtual Academy. The siblings then began seeking volunteers and donations through their school’s network of students and staff.

“The school does a tremendous job of helping us get the word out every year and reach new people, since we are a statewide school,” Tyler said. 

The Slaven siblings and their team of volunteers then use the donations to buy toys from local stores.

In 2015, they were able to provide the hospital with 800 toys. One year later, that number reached up to 1,700. In 2020, they donated more than 11,000 toys. All in all, the Slavens expect to surpass 50,000 toys with this year’s donations.

“It takes a lot of people behind the scenes to help make this work,” Tyler added. “I’m just thankful that we’re in good health, that we’re able to do this every year and help organize and lead it and use the skills that God has gave us and being able to expand and promote it to these kids, especially around again the holidays.”

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