Montana Children's hospital kicks off Toy Box fundraiser

Montana Children’s hospital in Kalispell is kicking off another year off gift giving with its annual Toy Box fundraiser.

Last year, the community was encouraged to purchase toys and gift items for children, both inpatient and outpatient, and their families. However, this year due to COVID-19 they are asking the public to make monetary donations through a virtual Toy Box.

This year, they are not able to accept prepurchased gifts and in-person donations. Instead, their team will be purchasing the toys and items the families need directly through manufacturers in the hopes of limiting the risk of COVID-19 exposure to the young patients.

So far, they have raised just over $22,000, and their overall goal is to hit $50,000 in donations. Officials said while that amount may seem like a lot, when it's put into perspective, that money is used to purchase roughly three toys per patient.

Montana Children’s chief development officer Carly Rickard said, “At Montana Children’s we find it really important to try and create magical experiences for our patients and their families."

One of the ways they can create these special moments is by providing the children with a memorable holiday.

She added this year has been especially tough on the children and their families because of the strict visitor restrictions in place due to the ongoing pandemic.

Rickard said it’s hard enough for a child to be in the hospital, let alone in the hospital during the holiday season. “We are doing everything we can to make sure they have a special moment as a family,” said Rickard.

The team has also made arrangements to host a hot chocolate day with a virtual visit from Santa on Dec. 17 in another effort to bring joy into their patients' lives this season.

Officials said the distribution of gifts will begin on Dec. 21.

Another way to support Montana Children’s Toy Box is by participating in Community Day on Dec. 5 at Kalispell Firehouse Subs. 100% of the days proceeds will benefit Montana Children’s Toy Box.

For more information on the Toy Box fundraiser or to make a donation, click here.

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