Mindi Wickensimer, the coordinator of the local Toys for Tots campaign, recently shared the end-of-season numbers and thanked the community for its generosity.
According to Wickensimer, this year 1,664 children were helped.
“I would like to thank the community on what an amazing job they did providing toys to so many children that otherwise would not have had a Christmas,” Wickensimer said. “I could not be prouder of my team. Their tireless efforts, the long hours, their commitment to community and teamwork exemplifies everything Toys for Tots is all about. Also, take a moment to realize you did it all in one of the most trying times in American history. God bless you all. You are all true American heroes in my eyes. Merry Christmas!”
South Side Church of Christ Pastor Barry Pettit also shared some information. According to Pettit, South Side donated over 2,000 toys to help kids who were not sponsored but needed it this Christmas. Additionally, he said they were able to get 25 volunteers together to help with the coordination and packaging of toys.
“Toys For Tots was an amazing outreach to literally hundreds of our Fayette children,” Pettit said. “It’s amazing that these toys were collected in Fayette County and used for Fayette County kids. Hundreds of children will now have gifts on Christmas morning because of you. Thanks to all South Side volunteers, coordinator Mindi Wickensimer, Deana Ison, Jamie Wilt, Mike Phillips, Quinn Phillips, Larry Young II, Lisa Bohn, Mell Wickensimer, Debbie Davis, Nathan Phillips, Brian Fordham, and all other volunteers, especially those that donated. This is real community unity and an awesome display of the Christmas spirit!”
Finally, Pettit thanked “Leave It For Us Moving & Storage” who helped to transport all of the toys from the various donation locations to South Side.
“South Side is about being consistently active in our community, and we thank all our volunteers for donations and making this happen,” Pettit said recently. “This is true community unity, and it’s been a pleasure to work beside Mindi and everyone else to make sure these kids had Christmas. I truly enjoyed the love and the Christmas spirit that was felt in hosting and helping with this event.”
According to Wickensimer, Fayette County Toys for Tots distributed 4,927 toys to 1,015 children last year. This was a 20 percent decrease in toys but a 45 percent increase in children served from prior years.
“I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season with your family and friends and can help those less fortunate,” Wickensimer said.
The information in this article was provided by Mindi Wickensimer, the coordinator of the local Toys for Tots campaign, and South Side Church of Christ Pastor Barry Pettit.
Reach Martin Graham on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.