Southwire’s Project GIFT culminated another year of community involvement and volunteerism with a two-day toy drive to support Toys for Tots in Carrollton, Ga.
The toy drive, which occurred on Dec. 7 and 8, was advertised locally through banners and local media coverage. Area residents were asked to bring toys to the Employee Resource Center, and Project GIFT Blackshirt volunteers helped to facilitate the drive both days, loading the toys into two tractor trailers and allowing donors to stay comfortably within their vehicles. The toy drive was sponsored by Georgia Power, Associated Credit Union, Megabytes Digital, West Georgia Technical College, Gradick Communications and Times-Georgian.
Matt Careins is the local community organizer for Toys for Tots, representing four counties in the West Georgia area. In addition to this role, Careins is a Southwire employee and a Marine.
“Being a Marine, Toys for Tots is something that I have been associated with and known about for several years,” said Careins. “Because we don’t have a base or reserve unit in the Carrollton area, it’s up to our volunteers to collect toys to give back to the community.”
A goal was established for the counties that Careins manages to collect 50,000 toys for 10,000 children, and while Toys for Tots is a community effort, Southwire made a considerable dent in the year’s total. From its Carrollton facilities alone, Southwire collected more than 4,500 toys, and other Southwire locations hosted similar toy drives, providing support for Toys for Tots in their respective communities.
“Southwire is our biggest supporter in the area, and it’s not just because of what they contribute, collect and donate,” said Careins. “They promote Toys for Tots, and they’re committed to giving back to the community. Southwire helps store the toys if we have any left, and they transport the toys to our warehouse. They’re actively involved, and it makes me proud to work for a company that helps the community.”
According to Krystle Thompson, Project GIFT coordinator, the toy drive was successful because of overwhelming support from Southwire and the community.
“The event was successful because Southwire, our employees and the West Georgia community were all able to donate these toys,” said Thompson. “They are going to help parents who would otherwise have to see their children go without any presents on Christmas morning.”
Beginning in 1947, Toys for Tots continues to collect new, unwrapped toys and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. Thompson believes that the efforts of Toys for Tots are important, and she is pleased to be a part of making it possible.
“As a child, I never woke up on Christmas morning without any presents under the tree,” said Thompson. “It’s heartbreaking for me to think of a child, having to wake up and wonder why Santa didn’t make it to their house this year. It’s very touching to know that Project GIFT and Southwire can at least be a small contributor to a child’s joy on Christmas morning.”
– Jason Pollard