Toys for Tots: Round 4 and counting
His name is Riley Moore and he is eight years old. His Toys for Tots story began three years ago in a Turkey Hill when Riley was just a kindergartener.
|Riley Moore, a Hans Herr third grader who will donate|
about 150 toys this year alone to the Marine Corps'
Toys for Tots program
“We were at Turkey Hill and I saw a big box.” The box was a Toys for Tots drop-off station. At the time, Riley had no idea what the organization was or how it would soon affect his life. His mother, Tammy Gingras-Moore, filled him in on the program and instantly the journey began.
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.
Riley was quick to act. He took $20 out of his piggy bank and was off to the store in no time. As a kindergartener he purchased 27 toys his first year of participation. However, Riley could not do this by himself. The money he uses to purchase toys comes from family, friends, his lemonade stand he runs during the summer, and even stores, like Kohls, who give Riley a discount to buy gifts. His mother mentioned, “Riley was so surprised that if he just asked people, they were most likely willing to give money.”
And sometimes that is all it takes. One person to step up and take action to get a community involved. But he didn't just stop there. As a first grader he nearly quadrupled the number of toys from the previous year, donating an astounding 119 gifts. This was not just an ordinary thing. Riley was making a difference. In second grade, he challenged the Lampeter-Strasburg High School to see who could collect more gifts for Toys for Tots.
It was Riley Moore vs. the entire High School. With a whopping 138 toys, Riley was only eight shy of beating the high school, a loss that was in no way a defeat.
And now, as the 2015 Toys for Tots comes to an end on December 4, Riley will have set a new record as he anticipates having 150 toys to donate. Riley has received a recognition award from the Marines for his donations in the past.
“I want to keep doing this forever,” Riley adamantly replied. And so should Riley be an example for us all: whether it be Toys for Tots or something else, we all can make a difference in our community.
So may we all sport our Santa caps and Hawaiian shirts this season as we admire Riley for his dedication, and seek out ways we too can make a difference.
--Mackenzie Miller, LSNews.org Senior Staff Writer
Related: #WhyNotUs should be the collective mindset of our community