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Crescent woman who started a community toy drive for sick children receives award

Crescent woman who started a community toy drive for sick children receives award

Theresa Smurphat of Crescent, Iowa is known for her ever growing collection of toys, and is now a Jefferson Awards winner for her great work in the community.

At Christmastime, she gives what she's collected throughout the year to children in the hospital.

"These kids go through a lot at a transplant unit, so I thought one, two days of happiness, a new toy, something," she said.

It all started seven years ago.

All by herself, Theresa bought the gifts. Now it's become one big community-wide toy drive.

She and others hang posters, and people from all over make a stop at the Crescent Roadhouse to drop of presents.

Those gifts end up in the hands of children at Nebraska Medicine's Children's Transplant Center.

"It seems like the whole town comes together, and then some, and the small towns beyond this small town," said Smurphat. "Everybody just comes together."

People who know her say she is one true inspiration.

"What she's doing is making a difference in a lot of patients lives," said her son Jake Brandon, who nominated her for a Jefferson Awards. "She does it without having anything in return."

Smurphat says it's all about making the children happy on Christmas.

"It just means the world to me to see their little faces light up," she said.

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