DALLAS — Eleven-year-old Micah Pinson has only 6½ fingers, but he uses both hands to give back to the Dallas hospital that helped him overcome a condition he was born with.

The cost of two surgeries and Micah’s every treatment at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been on the house.

The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1TPxuw9 ) reports that got Richard Pinson thinking of ways his son could give back. The hospital told the Pinsons that they could use more toys, so the family started a toy drive.

“The first year, we didn’t get that much, but we kept building,” Micah said. “And it’s definitely grown bigger now.”

In five years, the Pinsons have collected more than 15,000 toys for children at the hospital.

They knock on doors and put boxes in places like Transwestern, Costco, Starbucks and Weir’s Furniture stores. They’ve received everything from matchbox cars to iTunes gift cards to an Xbox 360.

The Shady Shores family brings the toy-filled boxes to Scottish Rite a week before Christmas. But the kids get to use the toys all year long. And if a patient has a birthday in the hospital, every child on the floor gets a new toy.

It’s a joyful reason to visit the hospital for Micah, who hasn’t been back for treatments recently.

“Usually the only time I come to the hospital is for the toy drive,” he said.

But that wasn’t the case earlier in his life.

Richard and Angela Pinson were devastated when their newborn son had only a thumb and half an index finger on his left hand. The congenital abnormality, called symbrachydactyly, wasn’t visible in ultrasounds, so they had no warning.

“The doctors said, ‘We’re just going to have to wait and see how he handles it,’ ” his father said. “If I’m OK with it, he’s going to be OK with it. It’s all about perspective of what he sees from us.”

These days, Micah fills his time playing in the yard with his cousins and neighbors. It’s soccer season, and he plays goalie, wearing a glove on only his right hand. In the fall, he hopes to be quarterback for his school’s football team.

“In first or second grade, I was picked on,” Micah said, remembering a bully who called him names. “But when I played sports, I beat him.”

In the summer, he hopes to go to Scottish Rite’s Hand Camp, where children with “hand differences” fish, complete obstacle courses and play sports.

Richard Pinson said his son’s hand difference has turned out to be a blessing.

“One day . he said he really likes his hand difference and that it makes him unique,” he said. “When he told me that, that’s when I realized he gets it, and he’s going to be fine.”

Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com

This is an AP Member Exchange shared by The Dallas Morning News