Volunteers distribute toys for children in Florence
FLORENCE, S.C. – A Florence warehouse became a sea of toys Tuesday morning.
Kayla Broach and Dwayne George were two of the volunteers distributing toys to children for the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots program.
“I helped bagging toys, checking toys and bikes, rechecking everything, making sure that every kid is getting almost all of what they ask for, making sure that kids and parents have a great Christmas,” Broach said.
Broach said that as someone who struggled through Christmas, she knew how difficult the holidays could be for those unable to afford gifts.
“It’s an overwhelming feeling,” she said.
“I used to work for the Salvation Army back in San Diego and so when I got here last year, my sister [Fanika George] invited me to come down and help out,” George said. “
George said his role was to help out as much as possible. He said that sometimes the toys were a little heavier than some of the volunteers could lift, and he was happy to do the heavy lifting.
“I’m just happy to help out especially the kids,” George said.
According to Maj. Susan Rodgers and retired Maj. Donna Murphy, at least 5,000 toys awaited pickup by families in need this Christmas season.
Murphy explained that the Salvation Army collects toys from several boxes around the Pee Dee. Each child in the program, Murphy said, would ask for and receive at least three toys for Christmas. However, she said, many times, there were many, many more toys given to the children.
The toy drive served around 800 kids around Florence during the 2018 holiday season.
Toys for Tots program is organized by the Marine Forces Reserve and locally is coordinated by the Salvation Army of the Pee Dee.