Toys for Tots Wraps Up Another Year of Giving

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Giving is more than receiving.

We hear those words so often this time of year and nothing encompasses that saying more than Toys for Tots.

"This year has been extraordinary as far as people being grateful for what they have. Our very first person this morning actually broke down and cried and if that doesn't make you appreciate the small little part that we play in these kids' lives nothing will. What better way to start the day," says organizer Staff Sergeant Cliff Hecker.

A day-long marathon of passing out toys. 40 volunteers spent Friday night sorting presents and packing them up to ship out.

All the drives add up to $11,000 and 24,000 toys if you can believe it. A long way from where things started just a month ago.

"We started off very, very slow at the beginning of this year and I was truly worried that we wouldn't be able to take care of everybody, but in the last two weeks, the outpouring of gratuity that we've received, toys, monetary donations. It's been overwhelming and it allowed us to take care of absolutely everybody that we have on the list," says SSgt. Hecker.

All thanks to the generosity of the community. One donor gave 16 bicycles. Always a hot item on Christmas lists.

"I must say this is a year I remember more than anything because we've had so many people be overly grateful for the help and assistance. And that's not me doing that. That's our community taking care of our kids," says SSgt. Hecker.

Something these families are incredibly thankful for.

"We actually got a Christmas card from somebody that we were donating toys to. And it was short and sweet. Just said thankful you guys have made our Christmas and those few words to us, that's like a novel. Not that we want the appreciation, but it sure makes us feel good," says SSgt. Hecker.

Sometimes the smallest gesture is the greatest gift.

Toys for Tots also sends out boxes of toys to 14 churches and 8 other community organizations.

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