LOGAN, W.Va. — The Matt Patterson Toy Drive will begin distributing toys to more than 600 children this coming week. Organizer Candy Patterson Brewer said the number of children getting toys is up from last year.
“Last year we did around 520. Our numbers are up this year,” Brewer said. “Right now we are anticipating around 600 plus.”
Brewer began the toy drive to honor the memory of her son, Matt. Matt enjoyed always enjoyed helping Brewer distribute toys when she worked the Make A Wish Foundation. The Christmas following Matt’s death, Brewer began the toy drive.
“We started in December 2005. That was the year Matt passed away,” Brewer said.
Brewer has schools, middle as well as grade school, and churches supply a list of children who receive the toys.
Children who receive toys are chosen based on several factors.
“They are chosen through the school system and churches based on need due to finances, living situations, neglect and emotional issues,” Brewer said.
Brewer said donations come from a variety of ways.
“Most of our donation come from businesses… we have some people that make a private donation. Any body can make a donation, whether it be monetary or by way a toy,” Brewer said. “One of our biggest (donations) is the work that Giovanni’s does. They have a fundraiser where you can donate a dollar and all proceeds go to the toy drive. Also Fast Change has their fundraiser where they donate $5 for every oil change.”
Brewer said she holds fundraisers, such as the Breakfast with Santa set for Saturday, December 12, at Wendy’s in Chapmanville.
“We will be doing a Breakfast with Santa Saturday at Wendy’s in Chapmanville,” Brewer said. “We’ve done some things privately; we did some things during the Christmas parade. We just work all year long to get the toys and store them.
Brewer said the toy drive is feeling the effects of the sluggish economy.
“The need is tremendous this year. The economy is playing its role but we’re still doing good,” Brewer said.
Donations, either monetary or in the form of a toy, to the Matt Patterson Toy Drive can dropped off at Giovanni’s in West Logan and H&R Block at Stollings.
“Or they can call me and I will meet somebody and pick them up,” Brewer said. She can be reached at 304-687-8330 or 304-752-9609.
Martha Sparks is a news reporter and can be reached at 304-752-6950, ext. 1728, or via Twitter at @MarthaSparks