FAIRMONT – When Kyndra Stewart’s sister was hospitalized for a few days, it was hard to keep her mind off the situation.
In the midst of it, she and her mom would bring toys to her, to make her stay a little easier.
“My sister was in the hospital when she was at home before she went, she was screaming in pain,” Kyndra said. “The toys helped distract her so I wanted to be able to help somebody else.”
In 2019, Kyndra, 16, became Monongalia County Fair Teen, and now she is hosting a toy drive for WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, taking a page out of her experience with her sister.
Kelli Stewart, Kyndra’s mom, said that by helping her sister, Kyndra was able to feel a little better about the situation as well. Kelli said she thinks this Love for Littles drive is a good way for Kyndra to project this care to other kids who may be going through a scary situation in the hospital.
“She kind of got to see how bringing toys and things to the room made her stay easier,” said Kelli Stewart, Kyndra’s mom. “She was there for a few days, it just made it a lot easier and got her mind off of things.”
Kyndra has done supply drives to bring aid to those in need before and said she helped out when Clendenin flooded a few years ago.
“I’ve done a flood drive before,” Kyndra said. “It was for when Clendenin, just for supplies.”
The Love for Littles Toy Drive has been going on throughout the week and ends Feb. 14, after which, Kyndra will drop off the donations to patients at WVU Medicine Children’s hospital on Feb. 17, which Kyndra said she is looking forward to.
“I just want to help make their day a little bit better,” Kyndra said.
There are five drop-off locations for new toy donations, including WVU-Monongalia County Extension Office, Dream Home Properties LLC, Clay Battelle Senior Center, Shear Magic and the former location of Blue Mountain Surveying. For more information on the Love for Littles Toy Drive, including the items the drive is in search of, visit the drive’s Facebook page.