It’s not even December yet, but Marion County residents celebrated Christmas very early and it’s all thanks to the help of the volunteers at the 10th Annual Marion County Christmas Toy Shop.
With a long line of families that stretched around the election center building, including some who were in line 8 hours before toy shop doors opened, volunteers confirmed this to be the most community involved toy shop to date. With the process running like a well-oiled machine, the shopping experience kept the Christmas-giving magic going.
“We do an interview at school and send a paper in and we go through a peer check and then we have shoppers that walk with them and go through everything and it goes pretty good, but we just go more than we thought we would have tonight, but we are working at it.” said Butch Tennant, event chairperson.
The pre-shop process presented opportunities to make sure that families who went through difficult times were able to leave with smiles on their face, like Meagan Loua, who told 12 News that holidays were made easier for her 5 children, while her husband is currently disabled in a wheelchair.
“It brings joy to us to be able to have so much for our kids. Give them more than what we had when we were kids.” said Loua.
Tennant said while it is always hard work from beginning to end, it is well worth it as they served 878 children this year.
“It’s just unbelievable, I mean you never thought we would grow like this, so we’re glad we help all of these children have a great Christmas. We would really like to think everybody who donated and I want to think all of the workers here just like today, all of the last two weeks we’ve been getting ready. If it wasn’t for the volunteers this just wouldn’t work.” said Tennant.
If you want to get involved in being a part of donating and helping next year you can call the Marion County Commissioners office at (304)-367-5400 or the Marion County Board of Education at (304)-367-2100.