Girl and her family make it their mission to bring toys to kids in hospitals

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- When you're a little kid,  a hospital can be a big, scary place.

One little girl -- Gracyn Smith, 11 -- knows that all too well after spending a lot of time in hospitals.

On Friday, she and her family went to Cleveland Clinic Children's Center to help make the time better for other kids.

When Gracyn was two, she had to have surgery on her spine. She has been in and out of hospitals in her hometown of Boynton Beach, Florida, many times.

When her big brother visited her, he noticed some of the toys in the playroom were so well-loved by other children that they were broken or had missing pieces.

So he decided to donate his birthday presents to the hospital, and since then, Graycn and her brothers have brought toys to hospitals around the nation.

“They tell me they’re bored; they don't feel good. This will help them get active," she said.

It also makes parents feel better, too.  Kindness can go a very long way.

Dawn Homolka of Michigan, whose daughter is at the Clinic, gave Gracyn a huge hug after she gave her daughter, Kassidy, a gift.

“Everyone needs a smile; you're never too big for a hug or a smile, so thank you for what you're doing," Homolka said.

As one of the largest children’s hospitals in the state, Cleveland Clinic goes through a lot of toys.

The family not only brought toys and games to individual children in the epilepsy ward, but they helped add more items to the playroom.

“I feel a connection with the kids because it makes me feel what they're going through," Gracyn said.

The family has given thousands of toys to children in Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.

More information, here.