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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

We Care collecting toys for 1,500 children
One volunteer is camping out to raise awareness
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: William Richardson, a We Care volunteer, is camping out at Smith Mountain Lake Building Supply until Dec. 15 to collect toys for needy children in Franklin County. Richardson says he will brave the cold, wind, rain and sleet to make sure We Care children get their Christmas this year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer

We Care of Franklin County is once again collecting toys for underprivileged local children.

"I'm expecting between 1,500 and 1,800 Franklin County children to be approved to receive toys this Christmas season," said We Care volunteer Teresa Tyree.

As part of this year's 23rd annual Christmas program, We Care volunteer William Richardson is camping out for Anna's Kids at Smith Mountain Lake Building Supply on Route 122.

Richardson's wife, Anna, was a We Care volunteer for about 16 years before she died of cancer.

"Her dying wish was to make sure 'her kids' got their Christmas after she was gone," said Tyree. "So William camps out every year for a solid week in the cold, rain, sleet and all, collecting toys for needy children. He wants to keep the campout alive for Anna. The We Care children meant so much to her."

Richardson's collection site can be accessed until Dec. 15.

Other drop-off locations for toy donations in the Westlake area include Dairy Queen, Salon at Westlake, Bojangles, Waterfront Properties, Water's Edge Country Club, Kroger and the YMCA.

"These are just a few of the lake locations," Tyree said.

In Rocky Mount, toys can be dropped off at Dairy Queens on Route 40 West and 220 North, Pizza King, Franklin County Family YMCA and Bojangles.

Donations may also be dropped off at the Moose Lodge in Rocky Mount between Dec. 17 and 20. Those who wish to donate but are unable to get to a drop-off spot can call Tyree at (540) 537-9003 to schedule a pickup.

Monetary donations are also being accepted. Checks can be made out to We Care of Franklin County and mailed to P.O. Box 396, Rocky Mount, VA 24151.

We Care will be accepting toy and monetary donations until Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

"We will still be serving children from our approved list up until, and even on, Christmas Day," said Tyree. "We want to see that every child in Franklin County gets served."

Tyree said an estimated 1,440 children from over 400 families received toys last year.

"A big thanks to everyone involved," said Tyree. "Without volunteers and donations from the community, there would be no reason for the We Care toy drive. It's the volunteers and donors who make Christmas for these kids."

Approved parents will be allowed to shop for their children from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Moose Lodge on Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 18 and 19.

Shopping will also take place Friday, Dec. 20 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The program will culminate with a party on Friday, Dec. 21 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, where the toys will be distributed to the children and Santa will make his annual appearance.

Raise the Barre Dance Studio will also supply entertainment for Friday night's party. There will be door prize drawings, games, cakes, drinks and more, said Tyree.

"I've met a lot of good people and made a lot of great friends over the years working with We Care," said Tyree. "There are big hearts in this county. That's what makes this county so great and sets it apart from all the rest."

 
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