December 7, 2012
The 25th annual Toy Lift on Friday brought in 14,000 gifts for local families and children in need.
The Toy Lift motto is "It Only Takes One", and President of the Kids Lift Foundation, David Fafara, says that one thing could be one gift, one dollar or one hour of your time that could make a difference in someones life.
But for some volunteers at the Toy Lift, it only takes one Toy Lift experience to realize what it's all about.
At a very young age, Mario Sukkar's parents taught him the importance of giving to their local church during the holiday season.
"Since we came here to America 10 years ago, my parents made sure to do that every single Christmas and basically all year round," Sukkar, the Albemarle High School senior said.
But tonight, after volunteering at the Toy Lift, he learned for himself what giving truly feels like.
"We all remember waking up on Christmas morning, rushing downstairs to open our presents and to provide that for somebody else...Just passing on those values and just being here today you talk to other people about it and you pass it on to someone else. It's a disease but a good disease," Sukkar said.
At that disease certainly spread among some volunteers who thought they were just signing up for community service.
"It makes me feel good and I know it makes the kids who are getting these gifts feel good too," said Albemarle H.S. student Pricilla Koirala.
"The opportunity to open a present on Christmas morning, it's knowing there's something out there for you even if you don't have the perfect economic circumstances. And it's that hope that I love spreading," said Alex Perez-Reyes, also an Albemarle H.S. student.
Fafara says the giving and what kids have learned at the lift doesn't have to stop there. After all, it only takes one gift or one experience to change a life.