PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- Thecountdown to Christmas has begun and for one Paragould mother that means collectingas many toys as possible.
Ashley Hutchinson is asking the community to helpmake Christmas a day a few hundred children will never forget.
"It allstarted back when my youngest son was born last year, he was born at 34 weekswith a bilateral clef palate," she said.
Hutcheson said last year she spent a lot of time at Arkansas Children'sHospital with her son so she knows how hard it is on a child during theholidays.
"I know howtough it is to see families struggle with the choice of buying a toy for achild or being able to afford a vacation to go see them during the Christmasholidays," she said. "Arkansas Children's Hospital told me theyestimate over 200 children that are going to be spending their Christmasfighting for their health."
Hutchesonsaid a toy can bring a child comfort and hope.
"A toy isgoing to make them think that they're remembered, they're not forgotten becausesome parents are not able to be there for them," Hutcheson said. "A toy isgoing to make them smile, a toy is going to make them forget about their nextprocedure that they have."
She said shenever wants a child to feel left out or forgotten.
"They can'twake up and see the milk and the cookies drank, they cant wake up and see allthe presents under the tree," Hutcheson said.
"It's very tough during the holidays and thesechildren we don't want them to be left out at all so that's why I wanted tostart doing this for them," she said.
But she isasking for the community's help.
"Anythingthat will make them forget about what they're there trying to do and focus onbeing a child and enjoying time," Hutcheson. "Give them areason to smile, give them hope to live for another day, to fight for theirlife another day."
You can dropoff a toy at 4 locations in Paragould: GloSalon, Something Sweet, Kiss the Cook and Just Pretend Play. Hutcheson said thetoy must be new and in the original packaging.
She will take the toys toArkansas Children's Hospital on December 9th.