Yearly Toys for Tots drive likely endi

Published 7:00 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

   This could be the last year for the annual Brookhaven AreaToys for Tots drive.

 

    Moses Bell, chairman of the charity since it began in 1985, said hewill likely step down after this year. He does not know if anyonewill take over the drive for the following year.

    “It comes a time when you have to say ‘We must move on,'” saidBell, who did elaborate. “It’s been a success.”

    The first drive was unplanned and started while Bell was working atthe Brookhaven Fire Department when it received a large donation ofcoats. As the word got out, the firefighters gave out hundreds ofcoats to those who needed them.

    The next year, Bell began calling different places and looking fordonations, and from then on began collecting toys and clothes. Eachyear, it grew.

    Bell said this year volunteers have bought more than $3,000 worthof toys. They will help more than 100 boys and girls.

    “We have never turned down anybody for Toys for Tots,” he said. “Ifwe do not have enough, we will go buy more.”

    On Saturday, Bell said organization volunteers will begin callingthe parents and asking them to stop by to pick up the gifts. Ifthey are unable to, the toys will be delivered.

    Bell said they have had a lot of help from businesses like Bank ofBrookhaven, Dairy Queen, Wal-Mart and Janie’s. He has manyvolunteers, who he described over and over as workingtirelessly.

    Toys for Tots has also worked with the Junior Auxiliary to find outwhat families are in need. Brookhaven Recreation Department andAvery Chapel AME Church have always been willing to let the driveuse their space, he added.

    Bell said everyone has worked hard and the community has reallyhelped the families out during Christmas.

    “We do whatever it takes to ensure that (the children) enjoyChristmas,” he said.