DAYTON — Inspired by his own experience at Dayton Children’s Hospital, William Bruce Elementary student Ty Fugate donated 3,000 toys to the hospital on Monday, Dec. 10.
Fugate started Ty’s Christmas Wish four years ago after he spent the holiday in the hospital with a high fever. After receiving a gift from the hospital, he knew he wanted to give a similar gift to the kids who would follow him.
“When Ty was five years old he was sick and we had to come over Christmas Day to Dayton Children’s. That memory has stuck with him all these years. Four years ago, of course after Black Friday, he said he wanted to donate to the hospital,” Amy Fugate, Ty’s mother, said. “We came over with a couple bags full of toys at Christmastime. When we were leaving, he came up with the idea that he wanted a box truck full of toys. It has snowballed since then and has gotten bigger every year.”
“Since I was in the hospital, I really wanted the other kids to have a nice Christmas while they can’t be at home. I wanted them to have a big smile when they get that gift,” Ty Fugate said. “I got a toy when I was coming out of the hospital. It was very nice for them to do that and I knew in my heart that I wanted to give toys to other kids. I think it will make kids really happy, because they want a toy at Christmas since they can’t be at home.”
Over 3,000 toys were donated this year for Ty’s Christmas Wish. William Bruce Elementary donated over 300 toys. Major contributors included Northwestern Mutual, Gala of Hope Foundation, Brookville Corvette Club, BC’s Bottle Lodge, Gebhart Counseling, Eaton Floral, Eaton Community Schools, and numerous businesses, organizations, and individuals.
The Fugate family will be taking the next few months off to rest and prepare for the next donation cycle. They will send out a Facebook post in June or July, to remind readers it is sometimes easier to donate in the summer. They will begin taking donations at that time.
For Ty Fugate, he hopes to see his Christmas Wish grow even more in the future. He wanted two box trucks this year, but the family managed to fit all the toys into one. However, for next year he wants 5,000 toys.
“Ty loves doing this. He has a kind heart — this is all his idea. If you want a simple, loving, caring, child this one is definitely the one to put forth the effort. He loves going out and shopping for this,” Amy Fugate says.
“I want to thank everybody for all their donations and support. I want to thank all of our family and friends — I make a call or a text and everyone is there to help out. I appreciate each and every one of you.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH