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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioYou may think certain games in arcades are a waste of time or money. But one young girl is using a game to give to people who are less fortunate.
Have you ever played those claw-styled games in an arcade where you drop a claw down on a toy, and hopefully the machine picks it up? They can be pretty tricky. Well, 13-year-old Alexis Walker seems to be somewhat of an expert. Her mother, Geri Allison, says the machine in the Red Robin restaurant in the Valley Fair Mall is the one you want to go to.
"We haven't has as good a success at other ones," Geri says. "This is the favorite claw machine by far."
I've played these games before, and I have never made one actually work. So, I was cheering for Alexis like a kid at a Jazz game.
She dropped the toy she was going for, but said, "I can get it now."
It took a while, but Alexis got a hat and a purple Minnie Mouse stuffed toy, making that more than a dozen toys she's won so far this year. But she's not going to keep them. She's donating them as gifts to the patients of Primary Children's Medical Center.
"When you deliver them, it's like the people are just so happy that you do it, and it makes you feel really, really good," Alexis says.
This is a growing trend. Officials from Primary Children's say grown men and women sometimes bring in large sacks of toys. Guess where they got them?
Primary Children's Medical Center Foundation Director Sharon Goodrich says, "There's a place on that gift form that says ‘description of gift,' and they'll describe that they won them at the claw vending games."
Last year, Alexis gave 17 toys she won to the hospital, which may not seem like a lot. However, Goodrich says these small gifts add up quickly.
"With someone like Alexis who says, ‘You know, I may not have much, I may not be able to give much, but what I can do can make a difference,'" Goodrich says.
Goodrich says toys and hats like the ones Alexis donates helps patients heal quicker. This is not the only case of Alexis donating what she can. Last year, she organized her sixth-grade class to make hats and scarves for the homeless.
Alexis says, "We ended up coming up with a total of 155 hats and scarves put together."
She says that project is a continuation of one she started in the fourth grade.