- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - The record haul from this year’s 911 Gives Hope toy drive got even bigger, thanks to a donation from a hard-working Cedar Hall Community School student.

With an assist from the Glad company, 12-year-old Chucky Williams presented a storage unit full of items to Evansville police chief Billy Bolin last week. Williams collected the items in honor of his late father.

The annual toy drive was last weekend at the East Side Walmart and was the event’s most successful effort to date. The collected toys will be distributed later this month to area hospitals and the local Ronald McDonald House.

Though it’s billed as a Christmas season event, enough toys are collected during the all-weekend drive to last the entire year.

The cause has special connection to Williams, said his mother, Rachel Crews, because he knows how depressing it can be to be in the hospital during this season.

“His father died right after Christmas,” Crews said. “Even though he wasn’t sick, he watched his dad die, and a toy maybe would have brightened his day.”

Williams told reporters he plans on continuing his effort next year with help from family friend Kameryn Dix, who is a freshman at Central High School. More information about the group can be found on its Facebook page “Chucky & Kameryn’s Mission.”

The help came from Glad after Crews nominated Williams for the company’s “Glad to Give” campaign, which showcases people who are bettering their communities while using trash bags in some sort of capacity to do their good deeds. The mission’s toys were stored in such bags.

Glad bought additional toys for Williams and sent a camera crew that followed him and Dix around for two days. The video will be showcased on the website www.gladtogive.com later this month, as well as on social media channels.

Jennifer Reilly, a spokeswoman from Glad, said that Williams’ work fits this year’s theme that “one act of giving inspires another.”

“Chucky took what was a difficult time for him and…. he really chose to make that difficult thing (into) happiness for others,” Reilly said. “He is his mother’s everyday hero, and we wanted to capture that.”

The extra toys from Glad were a surprise to Williams, who said his first reaction was simply, “Wow” when he saw that the storage unit packed full. It made him happy, he said, because it meant he and Dix would be able to help even more children. He also thanked the community for supporting the two young do-gooders.

“It’s been awesome that people have actually come out and donated stuff,” he said.

Just like the Glad campaign is aiming for, Crews said she hopes that her son’s work, of which she is “super proud,” pushes others to do their own good deeds.

“He is just hoping to inspire other kids to do the same in their community,” she said. “With all the negativity in the world, he thought, ‘maybe if I do something good maybe it will inspire others around our town to do good.’”


Source: Evansville Courier and Press, https://bit.ly/2hag5Dw


Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, https://www.courierpress.com

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