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Bremerton teen collects 7,000 toys to donate to children's hospitals

This is Zach Darner's seventh year collecting toys. It all started because of his personal connection to spending time in the hospital.

BREMERTON, Wash. — For the seventh year in a row, 13-year-old Zach Darner from Bremerton led a group of kids in collecting toys to donate to western Washington hospitals.

This past year, they collected 7,018 toys, which they distributed to St. Michael Medical Center in Bremerton, Mary Ridge Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Darner collects these donations under his nonprofit, Kidzz Helping Kidzz, which he started after watching his younger brother battle kidney issues as a baby.

“He was in the hospital and it was really scary and we both got toys so I decided toys make kids happy so maybe if I could recreate that,” Darner said.

With the help of other kids age 10 to 18, they’ve collected and donated more than 30,000 toys to local hospitals in the last seven years.

KING 5 was there in 2017, 2018 and 2019 when he first started his donation drive.

“It just made me feel good that he felt good, ya know?” said Darner.

It's the same sentiment he had back in 2018, when he was just 9 years old. 

"I was there for the entire time, and it was very scary. I want children to feel safe and loved when they are in the hospital," Darner told KING 5 five years ago.

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