About 1,500 Washington County children received hundreds of gifts for the holidays, as LifeSource International in Fayetteville took part in Toys For Tots.
Misty Phillips was one mom who didn’t have extra money to spend on holiday gifts to go under the Christmas tree.
“I don’t know what I would do. There probably won’t be anything under there, so it’s very important to me,” Phillips said.
Phillips has four children between the ages of five and 16. Two of them are her niece’s that she adopted several years ago. Their names are Matilda, Matthew, Christian and Lauren.
She said picking out a gift brings her joy.
“I have to think, make sure they like it,” Phillips said.
Jimmi Conduff, LifeSource assistant executive director, said several years ago, the company was approached by Toys For Tots to be its location for Washington County.
“They told us up front, hey, it’s going to be a lot of work, and it is. But it’s very rewarding,” Conduff said.
The toys are donated by companies, schools and good samaritans. Conduff said when he came to work, he found a shopping cart full of gifts from an unknown person.
Volunteers help in the distribution process as well. Each table is divided by age group, and parents pick the presents.
“That’s something that I really enjoy. They’re able to say, OK, well, there are these things on this table, so I’m going to choose this or that,” Conduff said. “I have had parents that have broken down in tears because literally their children would not have had Christmas at all.”
Each child received one gift, a stocking stuffer and candy. Misty Phillips said she’s excited about her picks and hopes her children will be too.
“It’s been so nice. I mean, I’m telling you, for them to be able to wake up and something be under the tree,” Phillips said. “God bless them for that.”