The stage in front of the Southwire Project GIFT trailers glowed with bright lights, smiling faces and joyous voices celebrating the holiday season and the collection of more than 5,400 toys for Carroll County’s Toys for Tots – exceeding Project GIFT’s goal of 5,000 toys for the second year in a row.
The two-day collection began on Dec. 6, in the Carrollton Walmart parking lot. Later that night, Project GIFT welcomed local American Idol participant, Andrew Weaver, and choirs from Sharp Creek Elementary, Central High School and Carrollton High School to the Southwire stage. Students entertained volunteers and those donating toys for a few hours during the chilly toy collection.
“We were thrilled to have such talented students join us to celebrate Toys for Tots,” said Kersha Cartwright, Project GIFT coordinator. “Their performances added some holiday spirit to the collection activities and brought more people out to donate toys – a contributing factor to exceeding our goal of 5,000 toys.”
A collaborative effort between many local businesses, sponsors for the Southwire-hosted event for 2018 included West Georgia Technical College, Associated Industrial Riggers, Systems and Methods, University of West Georgia, Times-Georgian, Gradick Communications, G & W Equipment, Carolina Handling, Villa Rica Main Street, Carroll County Sertoma Club, Wallace Graphics and more.
“We have had an incredible year,” said Lori Graham, LCO coordinator for Carroll County Toys for Tots. “Carroll County Toys for Tots is extremely grateful for the continual support of Southwire’s Project GIFT. With the community’s help we have been able to serve more than 4000 children this year.”
All items collected were delivered to the Carroll County chapter of the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program (Toys for Tots) for distribution in the area. Per its website, the primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive and patriotic citizens.
“This year’s toy drive has been a huge success thanks to great partners in the community, very generous sponsors and the many individuals in west Georgia with giving spirits,” said Cartwright. “We are honored to host the opportunity for this community to provide toys for the families of many boys and girls in west Georgia who need a little help making the season brighter.”
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