Coordinator - Janel Doyle – Bowling Green, KY

Each year, our local Toys for Tots partners with the local Law Enforcement and Fire Departments to ensure less fortunate children in our community have a Merry Christmas. This past year, we had a first. Employees from our Regional Jail decided to give families food for Christmas, so they drove around the lower income part of town and delivered baskets full of food to various families. After they delivered food to a family of five, they contacted me asking if Toys for Tots would be able to provide the family with toys since they did not see any gifts for Christmas in their home.

After given the address from the jail employee, I went to the home and was met by a beautiful mother holding a baby. I told her who I was and that I wanted to give the children toys on behalf of Toys for Tots if that was okay. She stood there for a minute speechless with a smile on her face as a tear rolled down her cheek, and said "yes, please". I got the ages and gender of the children and went to our warehouse to bag the toys and grabbed a couple of bikes for the two older children.

I returned with a member from the Marine Corps League, and as we entered her home, my eyes were fixed on the Christmas tree that was made of a cut-out sheet that was duct taped to her living room wall. A single string of lights was plugged in and made an outline on the "sheet" tree. Under the tree were three small packages: one for each child, and there was nothing but a couch and a TV in the living room. As we brought in the gifts and bikes, the children were wrapped around their mother’s legs in amazement. Their eyes sparkled, smiles were contagious, and the mother had more tears.

A few weeks after Christmas, I drove by their house seeing the children riding their bikes in their driveway. This is WHY... why we work so hard to get toys and monetary donations, why we work tireless for those needing Christmas help, and pouring our hearts and souls into Toys for Tots. 

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