14-year-old's toy drive brings joy to Children's Hospital

14-year-old's toy drive brings joy to Children's Hospital

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An annual tradition of spreading cheer continued at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU on Friday.

Seven years ago, Nick Booth just wanted to make a difference at Christmas and started collecting toys, founding Nick's Toy Drive.

He's now 14, and the drive has reached throughout Central Virginia and beyond, receiving donations and partnerships from all over the country.

"We start getting the boxes ready in the summer," said Nick's mother Sheri. "It's gone from 75 toys from the first year to thousands and thousands of thousands of toys each year now."

For months, they have collected toys in honor of Quinlan Thomas, a 3-year-old who lost his battle with Leukemia in 2014. The partnership with the Thomas family started years ago to keep little Quinlan's memory alive.

His father Tony says they spend countless hours at the children's hospital, many of the staff becoming like family.

"These toys are really important. They make a difference in someone's day," said Tony. "To have a toy there to kind of take their attention away from where they're having a bad day, they've done chemo - (it) makes all the difference."

He says Quinlan was a beautiful little boy with a big spirit that carries on today.

"The kids in the hospital are getting these toys on Christmas, and that means a lot to me," said Nick.

He started the drive because he didn't want any child to go without a toy on Christmas, especially those who may have to spend the holiday season in the hospital. So many toys have been collected that they last well into the new year. Last year, there toys available until June.

"I hope it brings cheer and joy to their life," said Sheri.

On Friday, the Hell's Angel's Nomad Chapter Motorcycle club worked alongside certified Child Life Specialists at VCU to unload a large truck full of about 5,000 toys.

The child life specialists spent the day sorting through the toys that will be delivered by Santa to kids on Christmas Day.

Sheri and Nick say there work isn't done. This weekend Nick is participating in the Dinwiddie Christmas Parade where they will accept more donations, and plan to make another delivery to the hospital after Christmas.

Click here to learn more about Nick's Toy Drive, Quinlan's Treasures.

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