MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Toys for Tots started giving out toys to over a thousand families in need on Tuesday.
X Gym Sports Mall in Myrtle Beach is one of five sites in Horry County where Toys for Tots has been collecting toys for weeks. More than 100 families stopped by the site to pick up toys today.“There were folks at the door at 8:30, waiting on us to get here,” says Toys for Tots Coodinator Keenan Walsh. The organization approved over a thousand applications from families in need in Horry County. Volunteers are expecting over 600 families to stop by the X Gym.
Gwendolyn Reed is one of those volunteers. She says handing out the toys to kids in need hits close to home. “I was once a recipient of these toys so it gives my heart joy to be able to stand and give back. Every bag that I pack, I pack with love. I pack as if I am still that recipient.”
Gwendolyn says she sees herself in other single mothers picking up toys today, like Kristine Reagan. “I’m very happy because I don’t have much to give my baby. I’m a single mom. I’m going to school and I don’t have a job right now because I’m in school full time,” says Reagan.
Toys for Tots gets thousands of applications from Horry County families every year, and they received even more this year because of Hurricane Matthew. “A lot of times, families that would donate to the program, this year, are having to ask for assistance. So we’re glad that we’re able to turn around and help those families that have helped us for so many years,” says Walsh.
Gwendolyn says distributing these toys is not only about giving joy to children on Christmas, it’s about “letting somebody know for just one minute there’s a brighter day coming. Somebody’s looking out for you.”
Toys for Tots will continue to distribute toys until they run out, which may be until Christmas Eve. Volunteers are also delivering toys to families who can not make it to the distribution sites.