Coordinator - Tommy Thorn – Reidsville, NC
I have been a coordinator for 10 years now. This recent year, as in the years past, I worked with the Rockingham County Early College High School teacher Ramona Bankston and her students. One Monday morning in October, I delivered the boxes and spoke with the students explaining to them the mission of Toys for Tots and how they could assist. As I spoke from the heart, I informed the students that we bring hope of Christmas to the less fortunate children of Rockingham County. I said that when I am gone, the only thing that will survive me is the hope that I was able to share with others; that is how I see my part of Toys for Tots: giving hope. After that, we had a minimum of 10 volunteers from the Early College every warehouse work night. They filled orders, shelved, counted toys, and even helped cleanup. Their work was remarked on by the seasoned volunteers that the young people came to work with purpose and did not just stand around trying to get volunteer hours, they were there to get their hands dirty. These young students embraced the mission and worked tirelessly to make a difference. And once it came time for our distribution day, the same crew of students made the mothers feel welcomed, retrieved their toy orders, and loaded their cars, and for the parents who did not arrive to get their toys, the students called them to let them know their toy order was ready. We are so thankful for all our essential volunteers; their hard work and dedication they expressed in assisting the families in their community is a job well done. As a result, we had the lowest number of uncollected toys ever at our campaign but, that never halted the systematic expression of love the foundation gives with toys to less fortunate children in our county. The experience is what keeps me returning year after year.