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Kids' donations add up to lesson in giving

Dec. 03, 2012 @ 11:05 PM

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio -- It was fun to watch.

It started with an empty box covered in wrapping paper that Trish Harris, assistant principal at Chesapeake Elementary, set out in the hallway. Slowly, kids started bringing in toys to place in the box.

Dolls. Legos. Toy musical instruments and makeup. Bicycles. Super heroes. Roller blades. Zhu Zhu pets and much more.

In all, Chesapeake Elementary collected about 600 toys to be added to collections from the middle and the high schools, which were donated Monday to the Chesapeake Community Center for its Community Mission Outreach program. Joining in the school's effort, community members and businesses contributed as well, Harris said.

In all, they filled up four baskets, and the fourth was spilling over, she said.

"The kids got really excited watching the boxes fill," she said. "I hope there aren't any kids in Chesapeake that will not wake up on Christmas morning without any toys now. It was neat watching the kids giving and not just receiving."

Jayden Jones, a 9-year-old third-grader, brought in a board game. It felt good, he said.

"I felt sorry for all the other kids," he said.

Children in some classes had the opportunity to have show-and-tell with the toy they planned to donate, before putting it in the box. That included the second-graders in Vickie Hamlin's class.

Hamlin said they didn't know what a "toy drive" was at first. The project involved some explanation about the difference between needs and wants -- how some families can't always afford both needs, such as food, and wants, such as toys. She explained how parents liked to help Santa by giving children toys, but not all have the money to do so.

"I told them that most of us are fortunate to have more than what we need, and it's a privilege to help others less fortunate than we are," she said.

They caught on, and seemed really glad to help, she said.

"They were extremely proud of what they had done in helping others out," Hamlin said. "We talked about how it's better to give than to receive, and they were proud to be giving."

She was happy to highlight kids' generosity.

"It's important to acknowledge those who give because the others saw," she said. "They could see it was a good thing, and I hope it helped reinforce it."

After collecting toys in November, Chesapeake Elementary will collect canned goods and nonperishable food items in December. All in the community are encouraged to contribute.



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