CTO toy drive helps DHA families

Published 10:51 pm Monday, December 22, 2008

It’s called the Coming Together Organization, and nowhere else is that more evident than at Christmas. The group collected bunches of toys, bikes and games through its 17th annual toy drive to hand out on Sunday at the Demopolis Housing Authority on Pettus Street.

The toy drive was hosted by New Era Caps on Thursday and bolstered collection for CTO, which also took donations of cash to help its cause.

“The toys came partly from the toy drive on Thursday at New Era,” said Thomas Moore. “They also came through the cash contributions from various people in Demopolis and outside of Demopolis, but mostly inside of Demopolis. We purchased toys with that, headed by our president, Willard Williams.

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“We had an application process where they formally completed an application that was administered by Grady Kelly at the Demopolis Shoe Shop. They let us use that as the headquarters. People would fill out the application, then we come back and verify the information. Then, we organize the names and give them a number, then we call out the number here today, and they come and get the gifts for their children.”

On Sunday, members of the Demopolis Housing Authority were taken in one at a time as their names were called and given bags to put their toys in. Like Santa, the parents filled their bags with toys to be delivered to some lucky child on Christmas morning.

“I come here every year, and it’s been a help to me with my kids,” said one lady. “I can’t afford to get anything, and it’s a great deal when they do this for us.” As the time wore on and the supplies diminished, the members of CTO began to prepare for one final push after all of the applicants went through. At the end of the day, they looked with pride at the empty room, another job well done for children in need for Christmas.

“It helps a lot,” said another lady picking up toys for her family. “They really helped me. It’s wonderful, what they’re doing.”