Annual Toy Drive Dance Gathers Toys for December Delivery

Published 08/29 2014 06:31PM

Updated 08/29 2014 06:35PM

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LUBBOCK, TX (PRESS RELEASE) -- August may seem a little early for a Christmas toy drive, but one New Mexico family starts months ahead each year gathering toys to donate to patients at Covenant Children's and memorialize their daughter at the same time.

The Lindsey Callaway Toy Drive Dance is at 8 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Elks Lodge #1348, 3409 Milwaukee Ave. Admission is one new, unwrapped toy, with all proceeds benefitting the patients at Covenant Children's.

Since 2001, Rick and Tracy Callaway of Dexter, N.M., along with their daughter, Jessie, have raised $269,000 worth of toys and monetary donations for toys to the children's hospital in honor of Lindsey Callaway. Lindsey, a former patient at Covenant, lost her battle with cancer on Jan. 17, 2001 at the age of 16, but won the war that day by gaining her wings.

Lindsey's experience at Covenant inspired her younger sister, Jessie, to go into nursing. Jessie's dream to care for Covenant's littlest patients became a reality more than three years ago when she was hired as a pediatric nurse at Covenant Children's.

The idea to deliver toys to the children's hospital came about following Lindsey's passing. Family and friends talked about the countless hours she had spent in the hospital and what could be done to make the stay for children and their families less "hospital-like."

In 2001, Lindsey's family and friends began collecting toys from the community of Dexter to be given to comfort children during their hospital stay. Thirteen years later the
Callaways say they are inspired to raise more money because of the patients Jessie now cares for each day.

In 2009, the playroom on the third floor of the hospital was named "Lindsey's Room" in her honor.

(Press release by Covenant Health)

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