By BRENT MARTIN
St. Joseph Post
An annual toy drive for needy St. Joseph children and youth wraps up its 20th year on Black Friday at East Hills Shopping Center.
Radio personality Gregg Lynn says the Christmas For Kids Toy Drive is a little behind this year, but he believes it will end strong. Lynn says he has been organizing the drive to serve children who wouldn’t have a merry Christmas otherwise.
“We had a teenage boy, he was about 15 or 16, and he told us it was the first time he had ever gotten a Christmas present, ever,” Lynn says. “And after that this was just our mission every year to take care of these kids. We added kids in foster care the last few years. So, we take care of wishes for over 100 kids every year.”
The toy drive aims to provide presents to more than 100 children and youth, many from the Noyes Home.
JoeTown 107.5 has been collecting presents and money at sponsor locations throughout St. Joseph since the first of October. Lynn will wrap up the toy drive at East Hills, broadcasting from six in the morning until six in the evening, on KESJ, JoeTown 107.5 FM. Donors can buy presents, give cash, or sponsor a child. Donations benefit the Noyes Home for Children, St. Joseph children in foster care, the YWCA, and the Adopt a Family Christmas Program.
Lynn says the toy drive has changed over the years. The high point, though, is the party thrown at the Knights of Columbus Hall after the toy drive wraps up.
“One big party. It’s going to be the first week of December and we’re going to have all these kids, all the kids from the Noyes Home, all the kids that are in foster care, all the kids that live at the YWCA shelter, all at one party with Santa Claus and pizza and games and a choir singing and that’s probably the high point,” Lynn says. “They get their gifts. Every kid gets a box with gifts in it and it’s just a ton of fun. From the adult point of view, not a dry eye in the house.”
Lynn says donations have been coming for more than the past month and you still have time to donate.
“We start the day after Halloween, but it takes a while to take care of over 100 kids,” Lynn says “So, we start a little early and it’s always the last minute, people are rushing around. When they’re just now starting their Christmas shopping, I’m trying to wrap up ours.”