EATON — Approximately 200 toys were donated at The Register-Herald’s 16th Annual Kids for Kids open house and toy drive, on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Every year, all toys collected go to the Preble County Christmas for Kids Project, a community collaborative which serves Preble County families during the holiday season.
Registration for Christmas for Kids was held throughout the month of November. Families meeting the income requirements are eligible to receive toys for their children ages 0-17 years old. Toys for the project are donated through many community partners.
One of the way toys are donated are through the annual Kids for Kids toy drive. The Kids for Kids event was conceived as a “reverse” holiday tradition, allowing children to practice the art of giving in helping Santa help local families have Christmas toys under the tree each year.
Over the course of the past 15 years, the Kids for Kids toy drive has collected nearly 17,000 toys for the initiative. This year, approximately 200 toys were donated.
During the event, families can also enjoy refreshments and children can have their photos taken with Santa. Kids are also given the opportunity to write a letter to Santa.
While Danny Nutt and her family missed the event last year, they have attended in the past and enjoyed having their daughter donate a toy for those less fortunate.
“I hope she learns it is good to give to somebody and she doesn’t need to receive anything to give something,” Nutt said. “It is important, due to the families who don’t get to provide a lot of toys for their kids, that way everybody gets a Christmas.”
For Kim Schmidt and her family, Kids for Kids became a family tradition last year. They want to donate presents for the Christmas for Kids Project, so those kids can have a great Christmas.
“It is a good feeling that you get. It is nice to come here, see Santa, and be able to write a letter for Santa,” Schmidt said. “I hope, someday, my kids will start their own tradition and donate like Ty Fugate in town. I think that is something special that he does.
“Christmas is about giving, not receiving, and it is really important for our community to come together and care about other people and not worry so much about the ‘us’ as individuals.”
Sorting for the Christmas for Kids project began this week, with distribution to follow shortly on Friday, Dec. 7.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH