WACO, Texas – In an effort to make sure underprivileged children do not go without gifts this holiday, local organizations are busy collecting toys to distribute.
Waco Toys for Tots Coordinator Staff Sergeant Jacob Negley says this time of year is busy for the Marines with events, collecting toys, and sorting them out.
He says all the work is worth it when they see the impact it makes on children’s lives.
“It is simultaneously for people to feel good about giving in this season as well as receiving,” Negley said. “Hoping that they take to heart that what they are doing is making an impact, no matter how small they may think it is.”
The toy collection campaign started in October and will continue until mid December before they are distributed to children in Waco.
“We do this every single year so this is not like; “Hey we just decided we should probably do something like this” it has been going on since 1947, and we are not stopping anytime soon,” Negley said.
Toys from the Heart founder and CEO of Shepard’s Heart Robert Gagher has continued his mission as well.
For the past 10 years, he has served homeless and underprivileged kids to make sure they feel cared for on Christmas Day.
“I grew up in poverty in Chicago, I know what it’s like to go at Christmas time and wonder whether your going to get anything,” Gagher said. “That’s not what I want, I think we can do better than that.”
Last year, they served 754 kids and they expect that number to increase this year.
“When they contact us we’ll find out how many people are in the family, we’ll provide Christmas to the whole family,” Gagher said.
Families do not have to qualify by income to be apart of the distribution process.
To donate at a drop off location or register, visit the website.