WOOLMARKET, MS (WLOX) - When the Beta Club at Woolmarket Elementary prepped for their annual Toys for Tots drive, they thought they’d start small.
“We set a goal for 250. And then for a while no toys were coming in, and then we said you know if we get a hundred, it’ll be great. And next thing you know, it just boomed," said Alyson Fallo, 5th grade science teacher and Beta Club sponsor.
Soon enough there were not one, not two, but five boxes filled to the brim with toys. That’s not including the overflow.
“I collected 172 from people donating to me, and my grandmother purchased some ourselves," stated Beta Club member Isabelle Smith.
Thanks to ambitious students like her, the school ended up with 1,347 toys in total. It’s a good thing the Marines were on their way with more boxes and a U-Haul to pick up the goods.
Lance Corporal James Woods says at this time of year, donations are flowing.
“Over on Det. 2 on the naval construction battalion center, our motor pool is filled to the brim with toys."
The students helped load the toys onto the truck, sealing off a month of hard work. Since November, members of the Beta Club went from class to class every morning to collect donations. Most even brought a gift of their own.
Club member Stephon Suszcyzyk believes Toys for Tots is a passionate cause.
“I just really wanted to bring something because like it’d be bad for kids who can’t go outside and play with a basketball, a football, a soccer ball like we do. I just want them to be able to play like we do."
Stephon smiled as he imagined the excitement of the kids who will get these toys.
He said, "They’d really be happy. I mean, I can’t make their facial expression, but I know they’d really be happy.”