More than 3,000 toys have been donated along with more than $1,000 in monetary donations, Sheriff Wes Tripp said.
The toy drive runs through 6 this evening where the sheriff’s office First Media Radio and White Motorsare gathered at Walmart to accept new toys for boys and girls age 6 through 12 or monetary donations.
“It’s better than last year,” Tripp said before he and First Media General Manager Chuck Marsh prepared to deliver bikes and toys to Hollister Elementary School where Twin County Cruisers were holding a car show and toy drive. “I attribute it to First Media Radio helping us promote this. The citizens of the Roanoke Valley didn’t let us down. It’s hard to put in words how thankful we are.”
The toys delivered to Hollister and those collected at the car show will go to Hollister REACH. Toys from the drive will also be presented to the Enfield Lion’s Club for distribution there.
Throughout the 48-hour effort there have been heartfelt moments, the sheriff said.
Junior Champion, a Gasburg child born with inoperable cysts on his brain, used $30 in birthday money to buy toys for the cause. A teenager who sold a motorcycle used that money for the drive.
Marsh said it’s natural for the radio stations to be involved. “The radio station’s license is based on serving the community. We decided to serve the community together. The media has a responsibility to do service for the community. That’s why the government gave us a radio license — to serve the community. This is what it’s all about.”
Marsh said it was hard not to get emotional when Junior made his donation or when the teen used the proceeds from the sale of the bike. “The young teen’s dad teared up and said, ‘I’m really proud of my son.’ He said, ‘I was one of those kids who used to have to get toys from charity.’”