Coordinator - Sunny Helstrom – Fort Wayne, IN

I was contacted by a mother with a 5-year-old daughter who was going to college and suddenly found herself in need of assistance. When she called me, she was embarrassed, because she never received assistance from any type of agency. After speaking with her I learned that she had recently gone through brain surgery to remove a brain tumor which left her with short term memory loss and seizures. Because of this, she was no longer able to continue her dream of becoming a nurse or even perform everyday tasks. The day she came to pick up her toys for her little girl was one of the most heartwarming days of the campaign. Once we gave her the toys, I asked her if by chance her little girl would like a bicycle. She became so emotional and explained that her daughter had recently begged for a bike, but she could not afford one. It just so happened that we had a few bicycles donated and I pulled a bike for a young girl aged 5-7 previously for another family but they did not show up to pick up their toys. The mother wept and thanked us repeatedly! She humbly asked if she could give me and Joyce a hug, and then said, “I wish there was a way I could thank all those involved”. I told her not to worry, that I would make sure they all knew how grateful and appreciative she was! Throughout the years with the Toys for Tots program I have assisted thousands of little girls and boys and this is a memory I will never forget. I will never forget the joy in my heart that day as that mother walked out of our warehouse with that bag of toys and that teal bicycle!

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