Our story is one of simple beginnings. A simple question, asked by a 10-year-old boy named Colt Gallaway. “Mom, where do these toys come from?” You see, Colt found himself standing in front of a small cabinet in the Hemophilia/Oncology/Sickle Cell department at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. After finishing up with “yucky” but necessary procedures for a child born with Hemophilia, Colt’s nurse led him to the cabinet and told him to find something that he would love to take home. Upon opening the cabinet, Colt discovered that it was filled with toys of all kinds. Suddenly, all the “yucky” stuff was forgotten and the hardest decision was which one to select. and he was now faced with a delightful decision! What shall it be? This one or this one? Unlike most kids, Colt really seemed to struggle making such a fun choice, almost appearing to be taking inventory of sorts. With a deep breath, he turned to his mom and said, “What if they run out?”
You see, during his appointment, Colt made friends with a little girl, age 4 or 5. They had exchanged several smiles and talked a bit. Names were not necessary for this friendship, they were bonded together by their similar journeys. When the nurses and doctors were finished with Colt, he headed towards the door. The little girl grinned “ear to ear” and asked, “You all done?” Colt answered and said that he was done and going home. The little girl then asked, “Will I see you tomorrow?” It was then that Colt realized that his new, little friend had to visit the hospital way more often that his condition required. It was her face that he saw when he looked inside the cabinet. What if there weren’t enough toys for all the other kids who came more often than he? It was at this point in 2015 Colt’s Closet was born in the heart and mind of 10-year-old who wanted to make sure the cabinet never goes empty.
The Gallaways make regular trips with donated new toys to fill Colt’s Closet. If you would like to help this ministry, you can give through the link below (select Colt’s Closet in the “Give to” box) or drop off new toys at the church. Please note that, because some of the children have compromised immune systems, any toys donated must be new.