Nearly a thousand toys donated to Toys for Tots

The high school office fills in with elves, dressed in festive holiday fashion. These elves are not here to make toys, however. They arrive ready to collect toys from kids of all ages for the charity Toys for Tots. 
"Elves" gathered in the office
to collect Toys for Tots

These select high school students from Interact volunteered to tour the various schools in the district with superintendent Dr. Kevin Peart, assistant superintendent Dr. Andrew Godfrey, toy drive coordinator Mrs. Karen Taraborelli, and the United States Marines involved in this charitable organization. Someone even dressed as Santa and visited Martin Meylin, Hans Herr, and Lampeter Elementary, spreading smiles and holiday cheer, as well as gathering donations.

Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve that distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. The Marines and “elves” visited most classrooms in Hans Herr and Lampeter Elementary to either collect from the children personally or grab a bag of toys outside the door. Santa always made sure to look in and let the kids know that he received their friendly donations. 
Nikita Glass and Alyssa Cunningham were among
the Interact members who assisted with the
collection across the District

“Students everywhere loved seeing Santa,” states L-S community relations coordinator Anne Harnish. “[Santa, the Marines, and the elves] went into almost every classroom, and the students were so excited.” 

Even the middle schoolers were delighted by Santa’s presence in the cafeteria. 

Once all donations were collected, the group joined together to bag toys and load them onto the Marines’ truck. Santa stayed with the Lampeter Elementary students to interact with them. 25 toys filled each bag, and they were carried off right when Santa finished his annual visit. This year, a grand total of 984 toys were donated to the foundation. 154 of those toys came from third grader Riley Moore, who toured Lampeter Elementary with the group of collectors. 
Riley Moore donated 154 toys
Photo by Mackenzie Miller, Senior Staff Writer

The impressiveness of a third grader collecting so many toys cannot be overstated. This young boy has dedicated his time and energy for four years now to helping out the less fortunate children during the holidays. Toys for Tots needs more driven children like himself to lead the movement of charitable work. Not every student has to donate this many toys, though, because even just one toy can make a child’s whole holiday season. 

Toys for Tots brings joy to every school they visit and betters our community in the process. We should all take some time this season to get inspired by these acts of kindness and give back. After all, if one third grader can get so involved, why can’t we?

--Lillian Murr, School News Editor; Photos by Lillian Murr unless otherwise noted

Edited: BP

Related: Toys for Tots: Round 4 and counting
Related: #WhyNotUs should be collective mindset of our community

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