Colt Galloway chose a blue truck because he was pretty sure the 5-year-old little girl wouldn’t want it.
Colt was 10 and a patient at what is now Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia.
After treatment, the kids were encouraged to select a toy, and it took Colt, who has mild hemophilia, a long time to choose one.
His parents, Whitney and Justin, figured he was deciding among several he liked.
He’d just made friends with the little girl who was also a patient, but unlike Colt, not an outpatient.
Colt wanted to be sure he didn’t take a toy she might want that day, or the next, or the next.
On the car ride home to Myrtle Beach, he asked his mom where the toys came from. He also wanted to know what would happen if there weren’t enough toys to go around.
When his parents urged him to think about and pray about how he could help, Colt and his sister Jordyn, two years younger than Colt, put their heads together.
Long story short, more than 3,000 toys have been donated to what is now called Colt’s Closet at the hospital.
When Colt’s school, Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach, and his church, New Covenant Church, were told about his concerns, 350 toys were donated right away.
One person told the next and the toys started coming in.
The family dining room turned into a storage area, and they made periodic trips to Columbia to deliver truckloads of toys to the hospitalized kids.
Colt is 14 now.
His enthusiasm hasn’t waned, and he has long-range goals. Judging from what he’s already accomplished, they seem quite reasonable.
Since his campaign began, Trinity United Methodist Church in Conway had a toy drive.
Hadwin White donated $1,000 that will be used for a new toy closet because the old one is in bad shape.
A union at International Paper donated toys.
When the Myrtle Beach Toys R Us went out of business, the employees, “from the managers to the cashiers,” Justin Galloway said, bought toys for Colt’s Closet.
So far, 3,300 toys have been delivered to the Columbia hospital for the kids being treated there.
Now, Colt envisions a cargo trailer and corporate sponsors.
“A construction company can donate Legos and a craft business can donate things like markers,” he said.
He visualizes the trailer sectioned off into organized categories of toys so children who can leave the hospital can go to the parking lot and easily choose a toy.
Parents of the children who can’t leave the building will choose for them.
“Many of the families with children at the hospital have such a hard time meeting medical expenses, they can’t provide gifts also,” Whitney Galloway said.
She said the family goes to all the “after sales,” buying toys after major holidays when prices are reduced.
“We try to buy toys the children can play with more than once,” Colt explained.
“I’m very proud of Colt and his sister having hearts to help people, it wasn’t once and done,” Justin Galloway said.
To help, visit https://newcovenantmb. com/ministries/ministries-colts-closet/ or Colt’s Closet’s Facebook page.
Colt, who wants to be a sports analyst, plays flag football and basketball and helps with varsity football.
He’s also a youth leader at church and head usher on Sunday mornings.
“I thought it would just be a one-time thing,” Colt said about the toy collection, “but I want to keep it going.”