Christmas Toy Drive huge success in Dexter

TABLES & TABLES OF TOYS—Sacred Heart Parish in Dexter recently held a Christmas Toy Drive. What was first designed to be a way for families to repurpose gently-used, or new toys for area families that might need gifts for their children, turned into a community-wide effort. (Submitted photos)
TABLES & TABLES OF TOYS—Sacred Heart Parish in Dexter recently held a Christmas Toy Drive. What was first designed to be a way for families to repurpose gently-used, or new toys for area families that might need gifts for their children, turned into a community-wide effort. (Submitted photos)

This past holiday season, Sacred Heart Parish in Dexter coordinated a toy drive to assist families in the area who might not otherwise be able to provide toys for their children at Christmas.

“I wanted to give back to the community,” said parishioner Cassy Pulley, who coordinated the Christmas Toy Drive. “I know a lot of families, including mine, that have a lot of great used toys that other children would love.”

“Everyone struggles at some point,” Pulley said, “and it’s important to help out when you can.”

The community response was overwhelming. Once word got out about the coordination of toys to be gifted to children in need, several places around Dexter called to volunteer as drop-off locations for the donations, including Carrillos Martial Arts and Sonic restraurant, and First General Baptist Church in Bloomfield.

Toys, a lot of them, began to appear. And people showed up to help, too.

“We had nine volunteers the first day, five of which were complete strangers that didn’t even attend our church!” Pulley said.

As enthusiasm caught on, ideas began to emerge among the volunteers as to how to tap into other resources and spread the word around town.

“Two of the volunteers went to McDonald’s and Burger King and they donated a bunch of happy meal toys and some ice cream coupons to be handed out,” Pulley said. Others contacted the local Dollar Tree. The store manager personally gave them $12 for toys. “A customer gave them another $12 for more for toys!” Pulley said.

Fr. William Hennecke, pastor, reported that over 69 families and 235 children benefitted from the toy drive.

“I am still in shock of how many toys were collected!” Pulley said. “I had the privilege to meet so many people who, for whatever reason, were going through hard times and shared their story with me.” “They were so gracious. A few tears were shed,” she said.

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