For the third year running, Maya Bakhru's house was the landing site for hundreds of toys.

CORRECTION: Maya Bakhru's last name was misspelled in the print and earlier online version of this story.

For the third year running, Maya Bakhru's house was the landing site for hundreds of toys.

The toys weren't for the 9-year-old Dublin resident though; they were donated to Franklin County Children Services as part of Bakhru's holiday toy drive, held Dec. 7.

The inspiration for her daughter's toy drive likely came from school, said Maya's mother, Ritu Bakhru.

Columbus Academy each winter has its students adopt a family in need and donate clothing or home goods, she said, and Maya has been doing that since kindergarten.

That first year, Ritu Bakhru said, Maya collected about 300 toys from neighbors and close friends for the Firefighters for Kids organization.

The toys have grown in number each year after that.

Last year, as awareness of the toy drive grew, Maya collected 450 toys for Franklin County Children Services, Ritu Bakhru said, and this year, she collected 550 toys.

The fourth-grader said she just wants to help children and increase the number of toys she collects every year.

"It makes me feel good when I donate the toys," Maya said.

This year, Maya said, she couldn't even walk in the office at her house after people dropped off their toys Dec. 7. The family had to make piles of the toys in the room.

Ritu Bakhru said two cars were required to transport the toys to Franklin County Children Services, and six people unloaded the vehicles.

"I'm really proud of her and her willingness to support others and care about others in need," Ritu Bakhru said.

For more than 56 years, Franklin County Children Services has collected toys and monetary donations for children during the holidays, to brighten their days when they might be experiencing tough times, said Bruce Cadwallader, the agency's public information officer.

Holiday Wish serves more than 6,500 children who might have experienced abuse, neglect or other difficult home situations, Cadwallader said.

Each child age 11 or younger receives a gift bag with toys amounting to about $50 in value, he said. Older children receive gift cards.

Without community support, he said, the organization could not administer the program.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah