MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It’s the season of giving, and for the students and staff at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center it’s a time to help give Christmas cheer to kids who may have a hard time finding it.
"The idea of collecting the toys was to do something kind of uplifting to help get the Christmas spirit to the boys," Robyn Smith, assistant director of UTHSC Special Events and Community Affairs, said.
Those boys are the football players from the Orange Mound Youth Football Association who were involved in a bus crash in Arkansas when returning home to Memphis after a tournament in Texas.
One of their own, 9-year-old Kameron Johnson, died.
UTHSC used its three holiday parties this year to collect toys for the boys and their families.
"We never thought it would exceed, or be such a huge amount, but we're happy we were able to put smiles on the boys faces," Smith said.
Four large boxes filled with 200 to 300 toys were picked up Tuesday.
"These kids are going to be overwhelmed with all these toys," football coach Damous Hailey said.
Hailey was on the bus and is still recovering from some injuries.
The physical wounds may be gone by Christmas, but the emotional ones will still be there.
“The pain ain’t going to go away. We’re going to remember this for a long time,” he said