- Associated Press - Saturday, November 21, 2020

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - An annual holiday toy drive at Mississippi’s only children’s hospital is going virtual this year to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Children’s of Mississippi is asking that donors purchase from online wish lists of toys from Amazon and Walmart instead of the usual policy of dropping off toys in-person at the hospital in Jackson.

“This will keep our community safer and will ensure contactless delivery of toys that will brighten the holidays for our patients and their families,” said Jen Hospodor, director of community partnerships at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Children’s of Mississippi is the pediatric arm of UMMC. It provides a gift bag to every child 18 or younger during the holidays. Gifts have been selected based on age and interests.

Toys are needed all year long, for patients hospitalized on their birthday and for incentives acknowledging healthy behavior or completing a treatment, said child life specialist Tiffany Key.



“We make sure each child has a gift bag to help celebrate this special time of year even while in the hospital,” Key said.

Information is available at umc.edu/inkinddonations.

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