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Jenison elementary students deliver hundreds of toys to children's hospital

The bus driver leads a charity campaign with her students each holiday season.

JENSION, Mich. - Students riding one Jenison school bus collected hundreds of toys, delivering them to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids in time for the holidays. 

A few dozen Bauerwood Elementary School students filled Bus 12-17 with everything from crayons to books and Lego sets on Friday, Dec. 20. 

"My job is to teach them that Christmas isn't always about getting," said Kristin Bredeweg, who has driven that route for eight years. "There are families that will spend this Christmas at (the hospital). So I have encouraged these kids to help make it better for them."

Bredeweg started conducting holiday donation campaigns with students on her bus in 2017. Last year, they collected over 700 items of winter clothing for the Holland Rescue Mission. 

"This will be the first time the kids will actually go to the place where their donations are going to be given," Bredeweg said. "I am overwhelmed by what this community feels is important—what parenting is important."

More than 200 children are currently admitted at the children's hospital. Admissions are higher now during cold and flu season. 

Donations of toys at the holiday season can make such an impact on the children and families at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, spokesperson Rick Jenson said. 

"Spending a holiday in the hospital can be challenging," Jenson said. "This type of generosity helps to normalize a hospital stay."

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