A toy story come to life

A TOY drive is bringing joy to the faces of children at the Royal Hobart Hospital Paediatric Ward thanks to the generosity of Department of Human Services’ employee Paul Kaproulias and his colleagues.

Inspired to run the collection after a visit to the ward last month, Mr Kaproulias has helped collect more than 80 toys and books for the hospital since the start of May.

“During my visit I noticed that the toys available for children to play with were either damaged or worn out after being shown a lot of love,” Mr Kaproulias said.

“I’m hoping our contribution makes a huge difference for these children during what can often be a scary and confronting time.”

Donations are putting brand new soft toys, board games, colouring books, pens, pencils, crayons and arts and crafts items into the hands of children staying at the hospital.

“It’s been overwhelming to see the number of donations rolling in, which I’m sure will bring a smile to some very unfortunate and sick children during their stay,” Mr Kaproulias said.

Royal Hobart Hospital manager of community relations Thomas Williams said he eagerly welcomed the donations.

“It’s great seeing how much fun the children have when there are new toys to play with, particularly for some of our long-term patients,” he said.

“We’re so appreciative of the generosity of Paul and his colleagues and the wonderful items donated by department staff.

“We can never have enough donations, so it’s really great to see people go out of their way to support our Paediatric Ward.”

Mr Kaproulias now hopes the toy collection will become an annual initiative for the department.

“I had only planned to run the collection within my own team at work, but more people heard about what I was doing and asked to be involved,” he said.

“So we put collection boxes in our offices in multiple locations across southern Tasmania.

“After seeing the success of the toy collection, it would be great to have the initiative run again next year, potentially expanding to more locations.”

Mr Kaproulias visited the Royal Hobart Hospital on Friday 26 May to deliver the donations to the delight of patients and hospital staff.

Caption: Department of Human Services staff member Paul Kaproulias has spearheaded a toy drive that has seen more than 80 toys and books donated to the Royal Hobart Hospital Paediatric Ward.

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