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IU Occupational Therapy students team up with Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots & IU host Toy Adaptation Lab

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana University’s Occupational Therapy Program is giving back this holiday season. It held a “Toy Adaptation Lab” on Thursday to help kids dealing with disabilities.

In coordination with central Indiana U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, students and professors learned how to adapt toys for kids who might not have the fine motor skills required to operate certain electronic toys.

Students, like Maddie Butcher, participated in three different sessions throughout the day and worked on the toys.

She helped organize this year’s project with Toys for Tots. She hasn’t done this kind of work in the past but says it’s important to help all kids feel included.

“Basically, what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to break the circuit of the toy,” Butcher said. “It’ll eventually hook up to the switch … [which] is going to help children play with the toy, regardless of any disability they may have. They’ll just be able to kind of press down on it and operate the toy.”

This is all a part of Toys for Tots’ efforts to help kids in need this holiday season. The central Indiana campaign helps organizations across 11 counties get toys to kids every year.

Marine Coordinator Staff Sgt. Jessica Miranda says it’s her favorite part of her service.

“[It’s] being able to give back to the community and seeing a different part of the Marine Corps,” Miranda said. “Just experiencing the toys and getting involved with the community.”

According to Sabrina Young, the partnership with IU allows them to further the kids they service.

“We like to be able to serve children of all abilities, of all ethnicities,” Young said. “This program is very important to us to be able to provide them with the toys. They can adapt them to children with special needs so that they can also have a nice Christmas.”

This year WISH-TV is partnering with Toys for Tots once again hosting the WISH Tree. Several locations across the area are hosting the Christmas trees and accepting gifts for kids in need through Dec. 15.