Toys for Tots campaign a big success

Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2013

By Mary Parker Egbert

The 2012 Toys for Tots campaign was a huge success because off all those who donated toys and/or their time and energy. Once again, children who may not have been able to find a present on Christmas Day were able to do so, thanks to all the volunteers involved.
While receiving presents certainly does not represent the true meaning of Christmas, most would agree that it is important that all children are able to experience the representation of love that receiving a present on Christmas Day conveys.
Our community collected more than 6,000 toys and served well over 900 children living in Beaufort, Bertie, Hyde, Martin, Pitt, Tyrrell and Washington counties. On behalf of the campaign, I would like to thank all of the people who were involved in helping local underprivileged children have a joyful Christmas. There are so many individuals, businesses and organizations involved, that it is impossible to name them all individually. However, a few deserve special mention. The Washington Noon Rotary Club, with Rich Morin’s leadership, arranged and coordinated with local businesses to place collection boxes at various locations. Many other businesses/organizations have toy-collection drives, and even competitions, to collect as many toys as possible: PotashCorp-Aurora, Vidant Medical, WITN, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Fitness Unlimited and its Silver Sneakers program and City of Washington employees, just to mention a few. Additionally, the Beaufort County book clubs have a toy drive luncheon in December for which representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps come to collect the numerous toy donations.
This obviously fails to list all the individuals who participated, all of whose efforts were greatly appreciated. The Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children, headed by Lisa Woolard, plays a key role in identifying and registering children in need of toys as well as so much of the work and coordination of the campaign. The lists of underprivileged children, along with the toys, were delivered to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, which served as the sorting/distribution center.
Again, while there were far too many involved to name individually, there are a few deserving of special thanks including Marine Cpl. Jo Price, who gave his time collecting, counting, sorting and distributing toys all while providing a Marine presence. He was joined by fellow USMC combat vets from as far back as Korea — we were truly honored by their presence and participation.
Furthermore, sheriff’s office Chief Deputy Kit Campbell, Sgt. Steve Lane, Lt. Charlie Rose, Sgt. Ernest Moore and Deputy Zack Martin took time out of their official obligations to help in the toy distribution process, as well as provide necessary security. Our many thanks go out to them, as well as all of the other people who took time out of their own busy Christmas season to spread the spirit of giving and kindness. The efforts of all involved are greatly appreciated; they reflect great credit upon themselves, and their respective organizations, in helping to keep the spirit of Christmas alive and well in eastern North Carolina.
Mary Parker Egbert is a spokeswoman for the local  Toys for Tots campaign for 2012.