December 10, 2005
Toy Lift 2005 is well underway. Volunteers spent Saturday sorting all of the toys collected and preparing them for delivery. They all called it a rewarding experience.
Volunteers got an early start Saturday morning.
They began picking out and boxing up toys for local kids, whose families need a helping hand.
"This is a positive thing," said volunteer Cindy Payne. "This is a chance for us to be involved in something really good that's happening to those families."
"It's just a wonderful thing for these children to have and also for the parents to be able to give when they're unable to do so financially," said volunteer Alfreda Morris.
What was an empty warehouse on Friday became one filled with about 20,000 toys. The toys included everything from books, board games and bicycles to musical instruments.
"You see a little six year-old on their first bike and you know you've done something good," said volunteer Mack Tate, who has been volunteering with Toy Lift for about 15 years.
This year more than 2,000 kids are seeking assistance from Toy Lift.
Cindy Payne, a guidance counselor of 12 years, is one of the many volunteers from local schools picking out gifts.
"The cool thing about that is because we know the kids, we know what they want," said Payne. "We know what they like, we know whether they're into dinosaurs or they're into baby dolls."
But being 'in the know' can be tempting at times.
"Sometimes it's hard for me not to tell them, when I know what they're getting, not to hint at it or something because it is cool, especially [when] you know it's something they really want."
"It's the meaning of the season," said Tate. "It's the giving, it's the caring, and it's the understanding that there are folks out there that aren't as fortunate as others and we can do something tangible to make that a big difference for them."
Volunteers expect to ship off about 2,000 boxes filled with toys.