Breaking News
More () »

Carmel girl spreading holiday cheer to Riley patients with annual toy drive

For the past 10 years, Lady Carrington Craig has organized a toy drive for children at Riley Hospital.

CARMEL, Ind. — Fourteen-year-old Lady Carrington Craig wears a lot of hats. 

She's a freshman at University High School and is preparing for finals. She also runs her own nonprofit called the Carrington and Friends Foundation, which she started when she was just 4 years old.

 "It's very cool to go outside get some toys and get some gift cards and give to others who actually need it," Craig said.

For 10 years, she has hosted an annual toy drive, supporting kids at Riley Hospital for Children who can't spend the holidays at home with family.

"I started it because my mom and I were visiting a relative in the hospital. I saw this boy in a wheelchair. I ask my mom, 'Does Santa come down the chimney to deliver toys to these children?' My mom said, 'No, these parents don't care about toys and everything, they don't really care about Christmas. They care about their children's health,'" Craig said.

But Carrington cares about both. And just like Santa Claus, this is Craig's busiest time of year, because what started off as a desire to provide gifts for one sick child has grown remarkably. Last year, she donated around 300 gifts - enough for every child to receive at least one present. She hopes to reach that goal again this year.

"I think they deserve at least as much of a normal childhood as they can get " Craig said. 

Credit: Shelly Craig
Lady Carrington Craig has conducted a toy drive for children at Riley Hospital since she was 4 years old.

Craig can't help feeling connected to some of the kids at the hospital. She was born at Riley Hospital prematurely at only 26 weeks, weighing only one pound, 11 ounces. Thankfully, she had little to no complications.

"Every day my mom reminds me that God has protected me and cared for me. I think that I want to do the same and do my part and anything I can for these kids," Craig said.

"We've been given so much. Your time on the planet is very short. Make good use of your time. I think the idea of giving back ... we can't give them health, but if we can give them joy, let's give them that," said Craig's mother, Shelly.

Credit: WTHR

Craig hopes Hoosiers will help her spread some extra Christmas cheer by dropping off gifts at University High School.

"It's a very special feeling that you'll get giving to others, not just your family and friends," she said.

If you can't make it to University High School, you can donate online. Donors can also give gift cards for teenagers that don't want toys.

Before You Leave, Check This Out