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Toy Drive at Mississippi College Benefits Blair Batson Children’s Hospital


Mississippi College students recently collected more than 300 toys to brighten the Christmas holidays for patients at the Blair Batson Children's Hospital in Jackson. Pictured on the Clinton campus Dec. 6 (left to right): Lily Hargrove of Louisville, Kentucky, Hannah Reeves of Brandon, Mary Beth Bates of Laurel, Harley Bush of Clinton, Hannah Jones of Birmingham, Alabama, Leah Trainer of Daphne, Alabama and Megan Hagerty of Birmingham.

Coloring books, Play-Doh, and sports items were part of the Christmas toy drive led by Mississippi College students to benefit the Blair Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson.

Students collected many of the more than 300 gifts at the Lighting of the Quad on the Clinton campus in late November. The toys kept arriving in early December.

MC’s Foundations of Servant Leadership class began the project this Fall. MC officials say it should become an annual tradition at the Baptist-affiliated university.

Patients at the state’s only children’s hospital appreciate the gifts that will make their Christmas holidays more cheerful, say officials at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

“So many generous Mississippians make the holidays brighter for Children’s (hospital) patients by donating toys,” says Jen Hospodor, UMMC director of community partnerships.

“It is a community-wide endeavor, and we are very thankful to everyone, including our partners, the Mississippi College students, for these gifts and for the thoughtfulness behind them,” Hospodor said.

Students like Hannah Reeves of Brandon, Harley Bush of Clinton, Mary Beth Bates of Laurel and Lily Hargrove of Louisville, Kentucky really enjoyed being part of the Mississippi College team to assist the young patients.

MC administrator Jonathan Ambrose worked closely with the new project. He commended the students in the Foundations of Servant Leadership class for making the toy drive a success.

“I love getting to watch students put into practice through experiential learning the material that is covered in class,” says Ambrose, assistant vice president for student affairs.

It’s a good example of what makes the Lee and Rhoda Servant Leadership minor at Mississippi College so special, he said. “Each class has an experiential learning component to it.”

The program is named for MC President Emeritus Lee Royce and his wife, Rhoda. The Royces retired after 16 years of outstanding leadership serving Mississippi College.

Mississippi College has developed a nice partnership with the Blair Batson Hospital on the UMMC campus.

In November, Mississippi College students participated in a dance marathon that raised more than $42,222 for Batson Children’s Hospital. Ambrose was involved in the third annual event with support from hundreds of students at the six-hour marathon on the Clinton campus.

The Blair Batson Hospital treats thousands of Mississippi children each year in more than 30 specialty areas. The innovative medical facility offers everything from emergency care to highly specialized heart and cancer services for patients.