First Toy Drop brought gifts to kids on Christmas Eve

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 29, 2020

First Step Learning Lab was full of the hustle and bustle of holiday preparation Thursday afternoon before the first holiday Toy Drop.

Thanks to donations and fundraising, including donations from Tinker Elves and Exchange Club of Picayune, the first toy drop was able to come together. Over 400 presents were wrapped and ready for distribution, 200 teddy bears had been collected and 500 used toys were also wrapped. Santa was dressed, and the Grinch was there too. Children’s and women’s jackets were also gathered for the giveaway.

A small group of volunteers sorted some of the gifts by gender and loaded boxes into a trailer.

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“I’ve nervous, but excited,” said First Step Learning Lab owner Wanda Worley.

Worley said she was surprised how many families reached out. The trailer full of toys was set to make 21 stops, but would also stop for any kids they saw along the route.

“I didn’t grow up with a Christmas. I never had a Christmas until I had my own kids,” said Worley. “Coming back to Picayune, a lot of other kids might be going through the same thing.”

Worley wanted to put together an event that would make sure local kids had gifts and that didn’t require anyone to take time to fill out paperwork or need a vehicle to get anywhere.

“It’s to make sure everybody has a gift to wake up to on Christmas morning,” she said.

Worley plans to hold the event again next December.