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Teenager hopes to collect more than 6,000 toys for local hospital

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DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Teenager Nick Booth has been hosting an annual toy drive for years now. His idea was inspired from a television commercial.

"I saw this commercial on TV and it had children in the hospital," said Nick Booth, who at the time was only six years old.

"He couldn't understand why they weren't home to be with Santa Claus and how would Santa Claus find them," said his mom, Sheri Booth.

That first year he decided to collect toys for kids in hospitals, he was able to collect about 75.

Now thirteen years old, Nick had his most successful year in 2015, when he collected more than 6,000 toys. The teen said he has no desire to stop.

The teen said he has no desire to stop.

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Over the years, there have been some changes, the biggest three years ago when "Nick's Toy Drive" merged, so to speak, with "Quinlan's Toy Box."

Quinlan was almost four years old when he lost his battle with cancer.

His dad, Tony Thomas, understands the need for new toys in a hospital, not just at Christmas, but all year round.

"To have a child that has cancer, it's a horrible thing to start with and then you have the holidays, which make it even tougher," he said.  "But for parents and children that are there every day, whether it's the summer time or not, the brightest part of their day maybe when they're able to go to that Treasure Chest and get a toy out."

This year there are 45 boxes placed at local businesses, schools, and churches.

When the boxes are collected, 30 plus volunteers from the community will help sort and deliver the new toys to VCU Medical Center.

Last years toys stretched almost to Thanksgiving, so the hospital is looking forward to a new delivery.