What is the name of your organization?
Smith Smiles Toy Donations. Also affectionately known as Smith Smiles.
What is your mission?
Bringing smiles through toys to children healing in hospitals around the world.
How and when did you get started?
Smith Smiles Toy Donations began after our daughter (Gracyn) was in and out of the hospital when she was 2 years old. Our oldest son (Zakary) saw many of the toys were broken or missing parts. He offered to donate his birthday gifts and Smith Smiles was born! Since 2011, our three children (Zakary, Gracyn, and Ari) have been donating their birthday gifts and evolved into hosting collections at various locations within the community to gather new toys, books, puzzles, games, craft supplies, dolls and much more to bring to hospitals in need. When we deliver the items, we are able to bring smiles to children who are scared about what they are going through and take away their fears for a bit while they heal and play with these new items. In 2016, we proudly became a 501c3 nonprofit organization to bring more smiles and donations to more hospital locations!
Who do you help?
Children’s hospitals, child life specialists, any program that functions to help with children healing including therapeutic centers.
Are there volunteer opportunities? Any where children can be helpful/involved?
Yes! We love to have children feel empowered with the impact they can make and have had success with kids and teens launching their own donation collections at schools, camps, and after school groups to collect and organize toys for us. Smith Smiles Toy Donations can confirm community service hours for time spent and we arrange the donation to a local hospital with the kids/teens that are organizing the collection so they can refine their skills of project management and continued community service.
We actually recently ran a toy drive at Xceed Preparatory Academy (XPA) in Coral Springs where I am the head of school and at our campus in Weston a few weeks ago. The students collected and donated 164 new toys which we then brought to the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation right before Christmas. As each of the students walked in with items for the Smith Smiles Toy Donations Drive, I couldn’t hide my smile behind the mask! Seeing that my students believed in my family’s nonprofit means so much to me. I even bumped into one student at the store purchasing a toy during our collection week. I tried to play it cool, but inside I was mush! Knowing that he was taking time to select a toy for our cause was incredibly special to me.
Are there any specific items that people can donate?
Smith Smiles Toy Donations is a nonprofit that uses 100% of the donations and fundraising towards donating to hospitals. All items must be new, with tags on, in the original packaging to be accepted by hospitals. We collect new games, toys, craft supplies, books, DVDs, gift cards, puzzles, dolls, and also have an Amazon wish list (under Smith Smiles Toy Donations) as well as Pay Pal where you can financially donate so we can purchase the items for donations. If items are purchased through the Amazon donation list, please put your contact information in the gift receipt so we can send a thank you!
What is your website?
What else do we need to know about you?
Smith Smiles Toy Donations is a family-run organization created because we have been at our daughter’s bedside many times and know how important toys can be to recovery. We work year-round to donate toys, thank you so much for anything you can donate!