There are several groups gathering toys this time of year for children of parents who can't afford to buy them gifts.
One group is trying to bring Christmas to kids that are not physically sick but hospitalized nonetheless.
Musical bongo drums that light up may be just one of several typical toys for lots of Arkansas families celebrating Christmas with kids but Doctor Molly Gathright says that's not the case for children that are spending Christmas at the Psychiatric Research Institute at UAMS.
In fact those kids, ages two through twelve, may not be getting any gifts.
That all changed one year ago.
"In 2011, through the vision and generosity of local entrepreneur Philip Moore of Lead Advantage, the toys for our children fund was established at the Psychiatric Research Institute," said Dr Gathright.
The fund is used to purchase toys for the kids that are hospitalized at the Child Diagnostic Unit, and offers them a take-home gift. But also gives them a chance to feel like other kids.
"The fund also provides toys or gifts for children who are here during special occasions like birthdays or holidays like Christmas," said Dr Gathright.
More than 100 kids are treated at this facility during the year and this fund will help those children not just at Christmas but all throughout the year.
"Honestly we're treating children all year long and it's so important to be engaged in mental health care and knowing that children do need proper mental health care themselves. Not just during the holiday time but throughout the entire year," said Dr Gathright.TOYS FOR OUR CHILDRENFor more information, please contactBetty Tucker, Director of DevelopmentUAMS Psychiatric Research Institute4301 W. Markham St., #554Little Rock, AR 72205
BATucker@uams.edu or (501) 526-8134