The Times West Virginian

December 1, 2013

Giving people of county help bring magic to holiday season

Times West Virginian

— We want to simply say thank you to the people of Marion County.

For the fifth year in a row, the Christmas Toy Shop, the Black Friday event that serves low-income families, has been a success. Families who before would have stressed about how they would be able to provide toys for their children come Christmas morning have been given the opportunity to “shop” for gently used and new toys, but only through the giving spirit of the people of Marion County.

We saw it first hand. A young girl came into our offices and presented a check. Come to find out, that little one had asked friends and family to donate to the cause and collected as much as she could before bringing the donation to the office.

A woman stopped by the office the day before Thanksgiving, the last day we would be collecting for the drive. She wanted to know exactly how far away we were from the goal of $17,500 to purchase new toys for the drive. At that moment, though we knew other checks were expected and explained that, we were a little more than $1,490 away from goal. The woman wrote a personal check for $1,491.

Someone donated a rather large stuffed monkey. When the family who chose the monkey Friday morning was loading it into the car, there was an envelope attached beneath it with $50 enclosed.

These were just a few of the little miracles and blessings that happened during the drive this year. It doesn’t count the hundreds and hundreds of volunteer man hours that went into sorting donated toys, purchasing new ones and helping families “shop” on Friday. It doesn’t count each and every person who gave what they could to help meet the fundraising goal.

And the blessings will continue through Christmas Day. We may never know the impact that a donated toy or a a monetary contribution will mean to a young child on Christmas morning. But lives were touched through this drive. Families in need, families in crisis were offered a helping hand to give a little hope to children who shouldn’t have to feel the stress of financial pressures at such a young age.

You wouldn’t believe what a new doll or a remote-controlled car or a bike can do for a child dealing with death, divorce, abandonment or financial crisis. It can make them believe in the magic of the season again.

And none of it would have been possible without the kind-hearted people of Marion County, who never cease to open their hearts for the less fortunate. In fact, the Christmas Toy Shop drive was so successful, another will be held Tuesday evening.

Again, we offer a simple thank you to the people of Marion County on behalf of the hundreds of children who will benefit this year. In this season of giving, know that you have given the extraordinary gifts of laughter, happiness and hope to so many children.