It’s that time of year again.
Applications for toddler toys will be accepted at the Chowan / Perquimans Smart Start partnership throughout the month of October. Families in Chowan and Perquimans counties can apply for their children aged 12 and under. The limited partnership is located at 409 Old Hertford Road in Edenton.
Applications can be found online at cp-smartstart.org, and on the Chowan / Perquimans Smart Start and Chowan CARES Facebook pages. Paper requests will be made at the Perquimans County Library and the Shepard-Pruden Memorial Library.
Last year, donations for Toys for Tots in the region suffered from COVID-19.
Pastor Rodney Coles, Northeast North Carolina Toys for Tots coordinator in Greenville, collects the majority of toys that are distributed in northeastern North Carolina.
However, last year no collection boxes were released and WITN did not hold its annual Toys for Tots collection of toys, despite the number of requests never before recorded.
This year is expected to be similar, as the current numbers for COVID-19 and the Delta variant are on the rise.
Smart Start staff hope the community bans together like last year to make local children’s Christmas special.
Some of those who helped make last year’s campaign a success include: The Governor’s Pub hosted a golf tournament to raise funds, as well as donated toys; The Edenton Baptist Church and the Forestville Ruritan Club raised funds and collected toy donations; Toy donations were made by Time Financing Service, Vaughan’s Jewelry and The Links at Mulberry Hill.
In addition, many clubs, businesses and individuals sent in cash donations to be used to purchase toys, and McDonald’s of Edenton donated coupons for large orders of fries for each of the children in Chowan County.
Toys were also collected from the ‘Stuff a Patrol Car’ toy drives during the Christmas Parades driving Hertford and Edenton. Retired Weeksville sailor Chris Harty and his wife, Monica, brought in tons of extra toys that had been collected, and Johnnie Hughes showed up with donations of toys his kids bought with the $ 600. which they collected by selling hot chocolate for three Saturdays in a row.
The Partnership had so many donations of toys and toys purchased through cash donations that the 153 families who applied for their 331 children were able to get three quality toys and three Christmas stockings for each child. After the toys were distributed to the Smart Start families, the remaining toys were divided, wrapped or wrapped and handed over to the two other regional Toys for Tots partner agencies working with the families.
Those who volunteered their time and assisted the Smart Start staff with the toy pickup, sorting and distribution included: Perquimans County Sheriff and Chowan Services, Waff Contacting for the use of their trailer which has transported the toys to the delivery sites. so handy for tired elves; members of the Edenton Lions Club; American Legion Post 40 and Perquimans County Parks and Recreation Center for using their large facilities to distribute toys to enforce social distancing rules; Edenton Baptist Church members Debbie Swicegood and Joan Privott, for helping sort toys in Edenton; Alexandria Diamond of Vidant Health for helping with the installation and outage at Perquimans; and members of the Smart Start family, Brianna Hall, Grant Nixon and Keith Nixon for transportation, sorting and packaging each day of distribution.
And finally, the elves of the Smart Start staff have worked tirelessly to put together a successful toddler toy program to bring joy to children.
The obstacles that will need to be overcome this year to bring joy to our children through Toys for Tots are not known, but the staff at Smart Start hope the community will rally again to help make Christmas brighter for many. little girls and boys.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering for the best work in the universe, having a box for collecting toys in their business, or having some sort of Toys for Tots fundraiser, contact Sarah Williams at 252-482-3035.
Thadd White is Group Editor for Bertie Ledger-Advance, Chowan Herald, Perquimans Weekly, The Enterprise & Eastern North Carolina Living. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]