4th Annual ‘Giving While Living’ toy drive happening Dec. 19

4th Annual ‘Giving While Living’ toy drive happening Dec. 19

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A toy drive to benefit children in the Pine Belt is looking for sponsors.

On Dec. 19, kids ages 2 to 10 will be able to go to the Sigler Center in Hattiesburg to receive a bag of toys for Christmas.

“It’ll help a lot of kids and a lot of families,” said Sheila Sandifer, an organizer of Giving While Living. “Because, you know, just the fact that someone being sad and can’t get toys because of this COVID, you know. There’s a lot they can’t do. They can’t go out to places, so you know, we hope we have enough toys for the kids. It’ll help out a lot.”

Sandifer tells WDAM the toy drive was inspired by a small encounter.

“I was at Walgreens, and this little boy wanted some little bucket toy, little toy things, and his mom didn’t have the money,” said Sandifer. “I just knew then I said, ‘well there’s a lot of kids, you know, probably like that little boy won’t be able to get no toys for Christmas.’”

The event, which is in its fourth year, will go on from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Local businesses and community members can be sponsors by dropping off toys or making a monetary donation.

Sandifer details the joy it brings to both kids and adults.

“It makes me feel real good,” said Sandifer. “Sometimes I get teary eyed,m but it makes me feel good, because a lot of the kids be so happy, and a lot of the parents, you know, just amazing to see how many come out and bring the kids. But to see all of them in there and they get to see all the characters, it’ll be just exciting to see them smile and just have fun for the two hours they’re there.”

In its first year, the toy drive had five sponsors. This year, it is up to 26 and hoping to give out toys to more than 300 kids.

Sponsors can sign up until Dec. 18. Donations can be dropped off at Hair Creations by Sheila at 1605 Adeline St. in Hattiesburg.

For more information, call Sandifer at 601-408-3535.

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