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Man’s charity gives back to hospital that saved his daughter’s life

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- Ryan Prouty is the founder of 'Grappling for Gifts' a charity with one mission; raise money to buy gifts for the OSF Healthcare Children's Hospital of Illinois annual Toy Drive.

"Is this because of me? And I said yeah this is, she's the genesis of this venture. She was one of those kids, we were those parents," said Prouty.

After Prouty's daughter spent her first month of life in the hospital, he said he knew he wanted to give back to the place that did so much for his family.

"Raise a couple bucks, buy some toys and start giving back and hopefully making some kids stay a little easier," said Prouty.

After five years, Prouty's said they've grown into so much more. They've raised over $25,000 since then.

"Whatever is donated to us, 100% right back to those kids," said Prouty.

Normally a celebration with cookies and Santa, this year the toy drive was turned virtual.

Tara Boehl organizes the event every year and said they couldn't let the pandemic cancel the drive altogether.

"They're still kids, they still want to play and so ya we do this during the giving season, but it impacts our kids our hospital the entire year," said Boehl, manager of the annual fund team at OSF Healthcare.

Boehl said even donating just one toy makes a difference and the amount Prouty has done for them is insurmountable.

"I remember the first year we had toy drive in 2016 and Ryan had come in and they had $2,500 worth of toys and he couldn't believe it," said Boehl.

Even with the challenges this year has brought on, Prouty said he still wouldn't have it any other way.

"As far as 2020 goes, I'm ecstatic that we've done as well as we have," said Prouty.

To donate to Prouty's charity click here. To donate to OSF's Toy Drive click here.

Paige Blanzy

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