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LHS junior conducting toy drive for Rescue Mission

New and gently used toys sit inside Jo’s Lil’ Cupcake Co. in the village of Liverpool. Jo’s is a dropoff location for a toy drive headed up by LHS junior Amanda Hebblethwaite. The toys will go to the Rescue Mission.

New and gently used toys sit inside Jo’s Lil’ Cupcake Co. in the village of Liverpool. Jo’s is a dropoff location for a toy drive headed up by LHS junior Amanda Hebblethwaite. The toys will go to the Rescue Mission. Photo by Sarah Hall.

— That was important to Hebblethwaite, because there are many people who want to give but don’t have the means to purchase new toys for programs like Toys for Tots.

“There are a lot of really giving people in this community, but for a lot of them, it’s hard to donate something new,” she said. “If they can do good by giving something their kids don’t use anymore, it’s a great way to help. And there are a lot of people who need it.”

For this year’s toy drive, Edge Federal Credit Union and Jo’s Lil’ Cupcake Co. serve as dropoff locations.

“We wanted local locations that people can get to easily,” Hebblethwaite said.

Edge FCU served as a dropoff location last year, and Jo’s Lil’ Cupcake was happy to sign on this year, according to Mike Martin, who owns the First Street shop with his wife, Shirley.

“It was a really easy decision for us. We really like this area a lot, and we love the whole idea of giving to kids that don’t have much,” Martin said. “The holidays are a giving time. For kids that don’t have anything under the tree, we’re glad we’re able to help.”

All toys must be dropped off by Dec. 4. Hebblethwaite and her family will then collect them and take them to the Rescue Mission, where families will “shop” through the selection for their children. Hebblethwaite is hopeful she’ll be able to outdo her haul from last year.

“Last year, we had, I’d say, eight to 11 shopping carts full of toys,” she said. “We filled up the back of my mom’s minivan — the trunk and we took out the back seats and filled it all up. We’re hoping to beat that this year.”

Hebblethwaite wants to see as many toys as possible so that as many kids as possible see their Christmas wishes come true.

““I hope they get the kind of toys their kids want, and their kids open it on Christmas morning and say, ‘This is exactly what I wanted,’” she said. “We’re so fortunate, and I think a lot of people take that for granted. Christmas has become so commercial. Something as simple as getting a stuffed animal can really brighten someone’s day.”

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