by Chelsea Ayers
Toys for Tots is a program whose goal is to collect new, unwrapped toys during the months of October, November and December each year. The organization distributes the toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. The volunteers that make this happen each year work very hard to help their community as much as they can. One of those volunteers is Brooke Buchanan, a freshman at WVU Parkersburg.
Q: How long have you been involved with Toys for Tots?
A: This is my first year being fully involved with Toys For Tots. However, in the past, myself, as well as my parents, have always donated toys to the organization and gave children a Christmas by sponsoring a child or two off of the Salvation Army tree.
Q: What made you want to be part of it?
A: I have been friends with the coordinator for quite some time and always heard him and his wife talk about Toys for Tots. This year, my family and I decided to help volunteer for this organization.
Q: What is your role as a volunteer?
A: As a volunteer, I help raise money and toys in order for every child to have an amazing Christmas.
Q: What does Toys for Tots mean to you?
A: Although I just recently starting volunteering with Toys for Tots, giving back to my community has always been important. However, with Toys for Tots, I have the ability to help a large amount of families while having fun in the process.
Q: Do you believe it has changed you in any way? If so, how?
A: I believe being a part of Toys for Tots has been a very eye opening experience. Being a part of an organization that gives children a Christmas is such a heartwarming experience. Growing up, my parents always did everything in their power to make sure I had an amazing Christmas, so it feels good knowing that I am helping to provide a Christmas to those children whose families struggle to find funds to purchase Christmas gifts.
Q: What has been your favorite part about volunteering?
A: I love volunteering for this organization, as well as other organizations, because I feel as if I am taking a small step to make a big difference. It is humbling being able to help those who need it.
Q: Do you think you will continue to take part in it after this holiday season?
Q: What would be your advice for someone interested in volunteering?
A: Do it. Volunteering is a humbling experience and it makes me feel good knowing that I am helping out those who need it.
To volunteer or donate items, here is a list of drop-off locations and occurring times:
Dec. 1: Marietta Walmart, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 2: Ripley Parade at 9 a.m.
Dec. 2: Frugal Frog in Ripley after the 9 a.m. parade
Dec. 3: Walmart Vienna, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 6: McClinton Chevrolet, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 7: Spencer Parade, 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 8: Marietta Kmart, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 9: S&P Harley Davidson, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Dec. 9: South Side Walmart, 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Dec. 10: Grand Central Mall, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stars Wars characters will be there from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Dec. 10: Vienna Walmart, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Dec. 10: Toys R Us, 1 p.m. Saulsbury 4-H Club will be there also.
Dec. 14: Baker and Baker Jewelers, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 15: All-Day Toy Drive at the old Ralph’s Parking Lot