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‘Giving wasn’t cancelled’ — Live a Yes Foundation continues to collect toys for children ahead of the holidays for Lily’s Toy Drive
Lily Anderson
Lily Anderson lost her battle with cancer in 2012 at the age of 11.

The Live a Yes Foundation plans to stock the shelves of a new holiday toy shop inside of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with donated toys from Lily’s Toy Drive this year.

Every year on Dec. 15, the foundation hosts the largest toy drive and fundraiser benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Every donation goes toward a child at the hospital, bringing them some extra holiday cheer each year.

Jennifer Anderson and her family, who all founded the foundation, usually hold a physical toy drive in Vickery Village in remembrance of her daughter, Lily, who died when she was only 11 after battling cancer. This year, however, Anderson made the difficult decision to try to hold a virtual toy drive because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And then Children’s called us and said, ‘Hey, let’s partner. Let’s do this together, and we can create this toy store. You guys supply the toys through your foundation, and we’ll put it all together,’” Anderson said. “It was so much better. It just made it sound so much like we’re doing something so good with them.”

Anderson set up the virtual toy drive on the Live a Yes Foundation website, setting up a link that takes visitors to an Amazon Wish List with specific toys for the kids at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. All they have to do to donate is purchase as many toys as they want from the list, and the order will be delivered to the Live a Yes Foundation.

The organization is going to be collecting toy donations until Tuesday, Dec. 22, which is when they plan to deliver all of the toys to the new Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Holiday Shop.

After the shelves are stocked up with toy trucks, plushies and more, the parents of the kids who are staying at the hospital will be able to go into the shop and pick out some free toys to give their kids for the holidays.

Anderson said that she worried with a virtual toy drive that not many would donate this year, especially as more in the area have faced financial troubles due to the pandemic. Without a huge event, she was also concerned that the drive just may not get as much attention as it usually does.

“Amazingly enough, we have enough people who love, love, love Lily,” Anderson said. “She was a superstar. I’m not bragging, but she was. Everybody knew her, everybody loved her. And they just started sending boxes and boxes of toys. It’s already just amazing.”

She said she was happy to see that after all of the hardships this year, the community still was able to step up and help out all of the kids this holiday season.

“I feel like everything was cancelled this year,” Anderson said, tearing up. “But giving wasn’t cancelled.”

For those still looking to donate toys or even provide a financial donation this holiday season to the Live a Yes Foundation, visit liveayes.org.