Caring people are giving people
HUGHESVILLE – One of the most exciting things about Christmas Day is helping 119 families give toys to their children through the Toys for Tots program. Connie and Gary Jenney from Montgomery have been organizing the program since October 31st. This year volunteers collected 80 boxes in the East Lycoming area.
Linda Falls said that Hughesville had one of the largest collection of boxes for the Toys For Tots program. “We help large families. Some have five children or more,” she said. There were 30 bikes to give out this year.
Looking upon three rooms filled with toys and bags of gifts for children, the Silk Mill Complex on Railroad Street in Hughesville has donated space for the past 25 years. “This would not have been possible, if it weren’t for the generosity of Carol Savoy and Mike Wall,” replied Connie Jenney who managed the paperwork for the incoming families on Saturday from 10 to 2.
A special plaque was awarded to Carol Savoy, owner of the complex for her support to the program. She was surprised and praised the people who care and organized their time and efforts to help the less fortunate. “There are people who do and give, and that’s you,” she told the volunteers. Mike Wall has also contributed and has given 18 years of dedicated service according to Savoy.
It was a long process identifying the needs and wishes of every child and finding the appropriate items. Each family was assigned a number that was matched up with the toy they requested. Families arrived as early as 9 a.m. from Muncy, Hughesville, Picture Rocks, Pennsdale and Montoursville.
Hughesville is a collection and distribution point, thanks to 77 members of the Veterans of The Vietnam War, Inc. Post PA-51. The Marine Corps authorizes the program, whose mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys for local communities each year. It was officially approved in 1995 by the Secretary of Defense as an official mission for the U.S. Marine Corps and Reserve.
Family members of the veterans helped to pack the bags and carried them to the cars for the designated families. For those who couldn’t make the trip, deliveries were made to the homes in neighboring communities. “There was a family in Muncy that couldn’t be here, so we boxed them and gave them the toys for their children,” said Brady Jenney who helps every year. He currently serves in the Army and likes to come to the Silk Mill Complex to assist his grandparents and the serving families.
Dave and Tricia Caputo said they were extremely thankful for this program as they noted the bags for their five children, all seven years and under.
Each recipient also received bonus gifts. Holly Clayton remarked on how much this helped her select some extra presents for her two children at ages 10 and 12.