Allison Dickson presents a check and a new mobile video game system to Lorenzo and Child Life Specialist Elizabeth Bender at McLane Children's.

Alli's Holiday Gift Drive benefits McLane Children's

Local philanthropist asks Child Life team to "dream big"—and delivers on that dream.

A big thank you goes to Allison Dickson and all those who donated to her fifth annual Holiday Gift Drive, which raised $14,654 for the Child Life department at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center.

“People opened their hearts and made this happen,” Ms. Dickson says. “I’m truly just the organizer, but I’m so thankful to be able to use that ability to help others.”

Ms. Dickson normally supports the Child Life department with an annual stuffed animal drive for children in the hospital. “This was an unusual year,” she says. “With COVID, we had to adjust to the new circumstances.”

She instead decided to fundraise for one of the larger items on the department’s wish list—a mobile video game cart, which arrived earlier this spring. “The game cart was a perfect alternative because the hospital’s play rooms are closed right now to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” Ms. Dickson says. “The cart also reaches a patient population that is often overlooked in toy drives—pre-teens and teenagers.”

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"The [video game] cart reaches a patient population that is often overlooked in toy drives—pre-teens and teenagers."

Allison Dickson

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Generous donors in the community exceeded Ms. Dickson’s fundraising goal for the hospital by $9,000. “When we reached the goal, and eventually went beyond it, I cried,” Ms. Dickson says. The additional funds will be used to purchase distraction and therapeutic tools—including toys, books, pretend medical tools, art supplies, and more—to aid child life specialists in providing age-appropriate medical education and helping children feel a sense of control and normalcy during their stay in the hospital.

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Click here to learn about how you can support the Child Life department at McLane Children's.

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