DAYTON — After five years of doing so, Ty Fugate continues to donate toys to Dayton Children’s Hospital. This year he donated almost 3,000 toys on Friday, Dec. 13, hoping to make Christmastime a little brighter for the children in the hospital over the holiday season.
According to his mother, Amy Fugate, Ty’s Christmas Wish was born five years ago after Ty himself spent a Christmas in the hospital. He was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital, because he was suffering from febrile seizures. He had them in the past, but his fever spiked on Christmas Day.
“They hooked him up to an IV and had to give him Ibuprofen and Tylenol, but it was basically just a virus. It scared us all and ever since that day, that kind of spurred the whole idea of what he wanted to do,” she said.
While he was in the hospital, he received a toy that made a major impact on his life, and inspired him to donate throughout the years.
“It made me feel really good, because I think the person really felt really thankful and gave a toy to someone else in need,” he said.
After receiving this gift, he knew he wanted to give a similar present to the kids who would follow him. From that one act of kindness, Ty’s Christmas Wish was born.
“About six years ago, Ty came up with the brilliant idea of donating toys to Dayton Children’s at Christmastime. The first year, we brought over a couple bags right before Christmas. As we were leaving, he got in the truck and said he wanted to do a moving truck load of toys,” Amy Fugate said.
Ty Fugate added, “When I was in the hospital, I saw people laying around and they didn’t have anything to play with. I really wanted [to give them] something to play with. When I was younger, I wanted to give little toys to little kids, because I like to see them smile and their eyes light up. It also sounds really cool.”
Almost 3,000 toys were donated this year for Ty’s Christmas Wish. The toy drive has grown significantly over the years – from Ty Fugate dropping off a few toys, to a box truck filled to the brim.
“I want to give everybody a toy to at least play with on Christmas morning and have fun playing with them,” he said.
Amy Fugate added, “It is wonderful [to see this]. He has the kindest heart I’ve ever seen. He enjoys loading and unloading and moving toys and seeing all the different toys.”
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, but he is thankful for the continued support from the community. Without them, his “wish” wouldn’t be possible.
“[Every year], I put a post on Facebook and it has grown leaps and bounds. Every year, people contact us to collect toys, donate toys, or donate money. We pick them up at various businesses – many small businesses have donated and done fundraisers,” Amy Fugate said.
“We truly appreciate everyone who has donated, every person who donated. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible at all.”
Ty Fugate added, “I’m really thankful they wanted to support us and give these toys to people in need. It makes me feel really good inside to see everybody contribute.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH