Effie, Georgia – Volunteer

After the death of my daughter and other personal crises, I felt down, alone and with no self-worth. I was blessed and introduced by a friend to the Task Force in my community. The first two years I volunteered and worked on their projects that they had, like the back to school bash, and I found out that I truly enjoy helping others. In 2014, one member heard about another 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization receiving toys from Marine Toys for Tots to help their area, and we discussed getting involved in this type of project as well. I was asked by the Chair if I would head off this project. In 2015, we applied for the Toys for Tots services for our organization and received 500 toys. It was stressful at first setting up and sending out applications, retrieving them in a timely manner and making sure I had enough to help the many families in need that reached out to us.

Now, three years after being in partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots Program and retrieving donations from others, we are able to help 350 to 500 families from Powder Springs, Marietta, Austell, Atlanta and other areas around Cobb County. We are also in partnership with the Lakewood Adventist Church that gives a box of food to the families, Rev. Vest of the Powder Springs United Methodist Church and even our Politician/Senator Dr. Rhett has stepped in volunteering his services and help. The only thing that saddens me is having to turn down families that call and reach out for help after hearing their horrible and tragic stories because I have ran out of toys and I can’t assist them.

Helping others and getting involved will change you and give you an appreciation for what you have. You are helping others who are in shelters after having tragic events in their lives. Some have lost employment and are worried about how they will have something for their children and others have lost a family member and lack the resources to give their children something for Christmas. Watching the smiles of the people and hearing the many “thank you’s” when I meet the families to pick up the toys is like receiving a million dollar lottery ticket. I am grateful for the Marine Toys for Tots for their toys and their ability to help my community and the surrounding areas of Metro Atlanta. Thank you.

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