‘Covington Cares for Kids’ drive nets toys for kids in need

Published 1:11 pm Saturday, December 15, 2018

Employees of Walt Massey Automotive delivered a sleigh full of toys to the Covington County Department of Human Resources on Friday as a result of its “Covington Cares for Kids” drive.

The local business partners with the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce and works with sponsors and volunteers to collect toys, which are distributed through DHR to children in foster care and in other situations of need.

Lori Varner from Walt Massey said that this was not the first idea for donation that they had.

“We originally thought of donating toys to Toys for Tots,” Varner said. “But we found out that not all of the toys go to children in Covington County, because there is no official site here, so we wanted to make sure that everything we did went back to our community.”

Andalusia Chamber of Commerce Director Chrissie Duffy said that they want to make sure no kid is left to fall through the cracks without Christmas presents.

“They may not make it in time to register for Community Christmas or they may fall into the foster care program and something comes up to where they never got registered,” Duffy said. 

She said that they chose DHR because they are aware of the children that are forgotten.

“The people here at DHR are aware of the ones that have those needs,” Duffy said. “They will know which ones may not have been registered for Community Christmas.”

The two agreed that businesses and locals have come together to donate gifts for these children.

“Usually a lot of businesses come together and donate toys for these kids,” Varner said. “They either purchase gift cards for us to go buy the toys or they bring the toys to our location. There are also several people that have just come to bring toys because they have heard the ads and they want to be generous.”

Duffy said that the Covington County DHR has expressed their appreciation for the toys.

“There has definitely been a response from the community,” Duffy said. “I know that the people here at DHR are very appreciative to be able to have the opportunity to help these families that have a need during the holiday season.”

After the toys are brought to DHR, they are sorted and matched with children.

“So what they do once the toys are brought in is they will go through all of them first,” Duffy said. “Then they will match up the toys with the names they have. From this point forward it is totally up to them as to how they distribute the toys.”

Walt Massey alone was able to donate $2,000 worth of toys, not including other businesses and individual donations.