When toys are being delivered to Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, there is only one way to do itand that’s in style.

Yellow school bus style.

Two buses packed with new, unwrapped donated toys rolled into the hospital parking lot with police and fire escort Tuesday morning for the Epic Toy Drive.

One of the organizers of the toy drive is Hopkins, Michigan, resident Dawson Babiak, 6. Dawson spent a couple of weeks at the hospital before Thanksgiving and another long stretch before Christmas following his November 2014 acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis.

What got him through the tough times? Toys.

“We’ve walked in the shoes here at the hospital,” said Dawson’s mother, Alison Babiak. “Just to be able to have these kids have something to get them through the day—whether it’s a coloring book, or a stuffed animal, or a little doll or anything— it’s just something to bring a little bit of joy to them.”

Students from both Wayland and Hopkins public school districts dressed as Santa’s helpers, wearing elf and reindeer costumes, helped unload the bus.

“It probably isn’t any fun being a kid and being sick in a hospital, but if I was sick, I would want to be here. This place is so fun,” said one student to another.

Almost doubling last year’s total value of toys, this year the school districts delivered nearly $15,000 in toys.

In conjunction with the bus toy drop, the Hopkins Public School District also contributed to the ‘Kaelee Noble Wish Tree’ to honor Kaelee Noble, an 11-year-old girl who lost her battle to an inoperable brain tumor in January 2014.

This tree was created by Kaelee’s grandmother DeeDee Noble and Kaelee’s twin sister, Kara. The school district collected gift cards and food items for the Pediatric Oncology Resource Team food pantry.

“When we would come up to the hospital, we were always provided snacks and things to drink and I know there is a great need for that,” DeeDee Noble said. “When you are packing up to come to the hospital daily or weekly, you don’t think to pack a lunch. (The Pediatric Oncology Resource Team is) always so good to families and we love DeVos.”

Shari Schwanzl, vice president of operations/nursing at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, said she is seldom at a loss for words, but this year’s Epic Toy Donation may have just done it for her.

“Two things came to mind this morning as I was thinking about this event and I thought—you know, one is that it takes a village, and it absolutely takes a village to run a children’s hospital,” Schwanzl said.

And the other thought?

“We often say, ‘And a child shall lead them,’ and so Dawson, I think that is a fair statement to say about what you have started here today with your family and your friends and your community. …We truly appreciate it.”