CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - Dozens of volunteers are working to spread some holiday cheer to central Virginia children who will spend their holiday season in the hospital. On Thursday, volunteers spent a couple of hours packing up holiday gifts for kids of all ages as part of Mason’s Toy Box.
Eight-year-old Mason Henderson was hard at work. "I’ve been sorting toys, finding boxes.”
He, along with three dozen other people, spent Thursday night packing up toys for sick children in central Virginia hospitals.
"Unfortunately, this time of year there’s so many kids in the hospital that can't be home for Christmas so hopefully this brightens up their time in the hospital,” Volunteer Donna Andris said.
"We’re sorting into age groups and genders,” Henderson said.
Henderson shares not only the same mission but also the same name as the child from Charlottesville who first began this effort years ago: Mason Thomas.
“He loved to give toys out to kids in the hospital so his family has just carried on the legacy,” Andris said.
Mason Thomas lost his battle with childhood cancer at the age of 11 in 2011 but his charitable legacy Mason's Toy Box lives on, growing ever-stronger each year.
"It’s gone from just a handful of boxes to look at what we have now a huge space and all these boxes, it’s really amazing,” Mark McAllister, Mason's uncle, said.
Mason’s Toy Box will be dropping off this year’s donations to several hospitals across the state including the University of Virginia’s Children Hospital on December 17, just in time for the holidays.