I learned last year that the national average for yearly giving is 4%. The average for our community is nearly double that at 7%.
Over and over, I have seen people with little to spare, show up, donate their time, money and goods, and give to those who are in immediate need. Toy Convoy is a program that I am proud to participate in as a community member and an employee of WHSV TV3.
So what exactly is Toy Convoy? In it’s 17th year, Toy Convoy is a WHSV TV3 initiative that will help provide presents for 2,917 children in our area this Christmas.
It is a drive for toys on behalf of The Salvation Army for Harrisonburg/Rockingham County, Staunton and Waynesboro and the goal is to serve all the children in need in this area from infants to age 12. Families register ahead of time to request toys and provide the screening information required by The Salvation Army.
In Harrisonburg, there are 1800 children / 945 families that have signed up to receive donated gifts. Staunton has 450 children and Waynesboro has 667.
The official sponsors of the program are Mountain Valley Burger King and Harrisonburg Auto Mall. Each year, they provide the “seed” money, $5,000 from each, to buy the initial toys. The Salvation Army then gets a discount from Kmart and based on their nonprofit status do not have to pay sales tax so it makes the $10,000 go a long way in getting us started.
Toy Convoy kicks off every year in Staunton during the Christmas Parade (last night). From the kick off, at tonight’s Staunton parade, the “convoy” will move from location to location. Toys donated in Rockingham County stay here, toys donated in Augusta County stay there.
WHSV will be LIVE for the next two weeks at certain locations (go to www.whsv.com for more details). Besides bringing toys to the LIVE locations, WHSV is at, people may drop off toys to any of these locations:
- Kmart in Harrisonburg and Waynesboro
- Any Burger King location in Augusta or Rockingham County
- Any Harrisonburg Auto Mall location, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi
- Any Salvation Army location
- WHSV’s studios in Harrisonburg during business hours
- The Harrisonburg Christmas Parade Friday, Dec. 6