Volunteers with the Ohio Virtual Academy unload toys for donation to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in a previous year’s toy drive. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
The Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA) — a full-time, tuition-free, online public school for grades K-12 — has partnered with local alumni members to host their ninth annual Christmas Toy Drive benefiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Now through Friday, Dec. 8, the OHVA Agricultural Society will be accepting new, unwrapped and nonviolent toy donations for children of all ages, ranging from babies to teens.
All toys collected will be donated on Dec. 9 to children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital who are unable to be home with their families for the holiday.
DeGraff area natives and siblings Tyler and Monica Slaven first started the toy drive in 2015.
Since then, the OHVA graduates have donated more than 80,000 toys to the Columbus hospital through the drive.
Today, both Tyler and Monica continue to support the drive working alongside students in OHVA’s Agricultural Society to collect and deliver the toys to the children at the hospital.
“We started the toy drive with the goal of spreading holiday cheer by providing gifts to children who are in the hospital during the holidays,” Tyler said. “It has been terrific to see the toy drive continue to grow over the past eight years and I hope that this year we are able to donate a record number of toys..”
“Our Christmas Toy Drive has become a beloved tradition for our staff and students and a great way to foster a passion for giving back to those who can use extra support around the holidays,” said Dr. Kristin Stewart, OHVA head of school.
“We are incredibly proud of our current students and our alumni for carrying on this annual event and helping the children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have a memorable holiday.”
All new, unwrapped and nonviolent toy donations can be dropped off at the following area businesses through Dec. 8:
• Buckeye State Bank — 101 N. Main St., DeGraff.
• Dave Carothers Custom Auto Sales – 1318 State Route 540, Bellefontaine.
• Family Farm and Home – 1710 S. Main St., Bellefontaine.
• Marysville Rural King – 1000 N. Main St., Marysville.
• Provico Farm Supply – 225 S. Main St., Botkins.
• Walmart — 2281 U.S. Route 68, Bellefontaine.
Examples of acceptable toys include: baby – rattles, teethers, stacking cups, shapes, plastic links, mirrors, and musical or light up toys; preschool – crayons and coloring books, molding clay, puzzles, bubbles, books, board games and dolls; school age – Books, games, playing cards, craft sets, ink kits and painting supplies; and teens – drawing and painting supplies, model kits, playing cards, word search and nail polish.
Gifts can also be shipped to the Ohio Virtual Academy Office in Maumee. Monetary donations will be accepted via PayPal at the following link: bit.ly/3tGgTHr.
For more information about the toy drive, email ohvatoydrive.