Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Final toy tally: 1,500 plus

Kidzz Helping Kidzz hopes to spread more joy next Christmas

BREMERTON — After months of hard work, eight-year-old Zachary Darner — with help from his parents, Beth and Rhandel, and a few family friends — delivered more than 1,500 toys to Harrison Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital on Dec. 21, just in time for Christmas.

The toys were collected since early November from numerous places throughout Kitsap County, through the generous donations of organizations and individuals. The goal for Kidzz Helping Kidzz’s sophomore year was 1,000 toys, up from last year’s 50. Both years, they exceeded their goal; after collecting 259 toys last year, more than five times their goal, they upped the ante this year … and still surpassed it, with at least 1,589 toys.

Of those, 300 went to Harrison (the medical center requested only that many) and the rest were divided between Seattle Children’s and Mary Bridge.

Zachary said his goal next year is to collect 5,000 toys to donate to kids. Rhandel said they’ll need to rent something a little larger than the U-Haul they drove around on Dec. 21.

David Schultz, president of Harrison Medical Center, greeted the Darners at Harrison Bremerton and surprised Zachary with a heartfelt thank you letter.

“Your dedication and tireless effort to collect over 1,500 toys is a wonderful testament to the kindness and compassion in your heart,” Schultz read from the letter. “You are an amazing young man … and truly a gift to our community. [We give you] our heartfelt thanks for your generosity, which will brighten the days ahead of our young patients and their families. We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.”

Zachary began the Kidzz Helping Kidzz toy drive in 2016 after his younger brother, Noah, spent Christmas in the hospital. That experience inspired him to want to donate toys to children in hospitals over the winter holidays, in an effort to make them feel a little joy during their hospital stay.

For more information about Kidzz Helping Kidzz, visit www.facebook.com/kidzzhelpingkidzz, or go to KitsapDailyNews.com for previous coverage.

— Michelle Beahm is online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

Zachary Darner founded Kidzz Helping Kidzz to collect donations of toys for gifting to children in three area hospitals. This year, the group collected and delivered more than 1,500 toys. (Courtesy photos)

More in Life

The mighty Viking guard to Poulsbo stands sentinel in the snow.
More snow for Poulsbo | Gallery

Additional inches of snow overnight added to Poulsbo’s growing winter wonderland aesthetic… Continue reading

These beginner painters follow instructor Danielle Rimbert’s directions as they put down colors depicting their painting’s background. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)
A splash of color on an inky night

Beginner painters create their own natural beauty on canvas

The birth of Puget Sound

Ever wonder what our region looked like in the distant past, before… Continue reading

Bay Street Bistro dishes up an expanded look

Port Orchard restaurant’s new look was two years in the making

Port Orchard Yacht Club’s Lighted Boat Parade is Saturday

This is the 63rd annual event in Puget Sound waters

American Legion Post 30 is a century old

Port Orchard organization dedicates monument at its headquarters building

The ‘Giving Tree’ continues to receive

Port Orchard Police Department collecting a treasure trove of holiday gifts

Kingston shines bright on the waterfront

On Saturday the Kingston waterfront once again came alive with light during… Continue reading

Bay Street to go ‘full Santa’ on Saturday

Festival of Chimes and Lights takes its 21st bow

Seattle-born versatile singer-actor shares his vocal talents on Roxy stage

Brian Stokes Mitchell returns to his roots for Historic Roxy Theatre benefit

City Council, mayor to scour for holiday spirit

The public is invited to ride along Dec. 16

Holiday traditions from Kiwanis

By Pat Bennett-Forman Kingston Kiwanis invites the community to share in two… Continue reading