Inova Toy Drive

Anna Ortiz, Staff Writer

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The Inova Children’s hospital toy-drive allows anyone to donate toys to patients in the Inova Hospital. Donations help support different children in the hospital to make them feel more safe and secure, whether they are going through treatment or simply need to get a needle stick as a hospital visit.


“All of the toys donated go to our child life team,” Philanthropy Specialist Taylor Tomczyk said. Our child life specialists whole job is to make children feel more comfortable in the hospital environment by explaining things to them in ways they can understand, using therapeutic play, and helping to keep our kids feeling like kids.”


Some people donate toys, coloring books, and boardgames, but anyone can also donate more common items such as toiletries. A lot of the toys go to younger kids, but it is also possible to donate items for teens such as electronics or adult coloring books.


“Some of the most needed items currently are play-doh, Barbies and action figures, animal figures, dolls, adult and child coloring books, infant items (musical and light up toys, rattles, teething toys, mobiles, mats for tummy time), items for teens (role playing board games, art kits, science kits, electronics and sweatpants), and toiletries like hair brushes, detangling spray, shampoo, conditioner and body wash,” Tomczyk said.


If it is not possible to donate toys, donating money is another option as well. When donating money, the donor may choose where they want the money to specifically go. It can go to different things such as supporting the child life team, supporting the music or art therapy programs, and even supporting the INova therapy dog Bartley.


“The money donated makes such a big impact, because we can use it in so many different ways including throwing birthday parties and buying educational materials!” Tomczyk said.


With financial donations, Inova will be able to fund specific units such as their NICU or Oncology/Hematology.


“It makes me feel good that I’m helping kids so they can enjoy the holiday season and also makes me feel thankful for everything that I have that I can take for granted,” junior Athena Landsdel said.


If someone were to donate all they would need to do is go to the registration desk in the Inova Children’s Hospital Lobby on the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. By entering on Wellness Boulevard accessed off Wooburn Road, donations can be given to the pediatric wing.


If one is worrying about donating between certain dates, then they don’t have to be, because donations are all year round.


“We receive most of our donations during the holidays, so we are able to stockpile them to use throughout the year,” Tomczyk said. “Usually though we start to run low on those donations when we get into the spring and summer months, so that is also a great time to donate.”


There are lots of ways, as well as items to donate. The hospital is always open to donations whether they are money or physical items. Being December, and during the holiday season, the tradition of gift giving is common. Donating to the Inova Children’s Hospital is another way to give back this holiday season.


“Inova Children’s Hospital is 100% non-profit and our child life program is about 80% philanthropy funded”, Tomczyk said.  “This means that everything you give and everything you help to support, could not be possible without donors like you! The donors are what allow our kids to turn a negative situation into something a bit more positive while here at the hospital. You all provide things that bring the bright spots to our kid’s days.”