Every year, Children’s Mercy serves hundreds of thousands of children. In 2019 alone, they served over 500,000 children. Henry’s Haul began in August of 2013 and they provide toy cars to children at Children’s Mercy. The organization was founded by the parents of Henry, who had leukemia and passed away in 2014.
Pitt State student Kyla Douglas, junior in social work, is raising funds for Henry’s Haul.
Douglas started this drive for a project in the Advanced Practice III course.
“Really, (I started thinking about this) the first time I’d heard about our macro project because of the people I babysit for, they kind of cofounded it with Henry’s parents and so they were really passionate about it which got me really passionate about it and it just kind of always came to my mind..,” Douglas said.
Helping people and supporting them in any way possible is important to Douglas.
“I think it’s really important to like understand and recognize when people are scared, and I think it’s a great way to help them,” Douglas said. “…I just think it’s important to help people when you can and if a toy car can help a child in the hospital, where it’s a very sterile environment, like even adults get scared going into a hospital, I think it’s a great way to help out.”
Douglas’s goal is 500 toy cars, which amounts to about $250.
“Henry’s Haul, they have a website, it’s just Henry’s Haul and there’s a link on there to donate,” Douglas said. “It’s on the front page. (It is) very easy. Usually you can donate toy cars, but because of the virus right now they’re only collecting monetary donations. This way, (with) that money they actually can buy cars for a lot less than at the store, which is only a dollar, but they’ll get it for half price, so they use their car donation. So, it’s just an online link.”
Children at Children’s Mercy are often confined to their beds, but a toy car allows them the flexibly to play while still in bed.
“… A lot of kids are confined to their beds at Children’s Mercy if they’re there for a long period of time and so this helps give a child the opportunity to play,” Douglas said. “Clearly if you’re in the hospital and you’re very sick, more than likely your parents aren’t thinking about your basic needs of feeling comfortable and like wanting play, they are there to make sure you’re healthy and survive. So, a toy car can help the kid remind themselves and others that even though they are there, they’re still a kid despite their illness.”
Right now, Henry’s Haul is not accepting toy cars due to COVID-19. However, when they open those donations back up there are three location sites that toy cars can be dropped off in Shawnee, Olathe and Lee’s Summit. For more information on donating and to donate online, go to http://www.thekidstitch.com/henrys-haul.html.