RICHWOOD, La (12/23/19) — Southerns Youth Movements in Richwood is hosting their annual toy and clothing drive this week for kids in the area.
This is the 4th year SYM is having their drive. Over the past 4 years, they’ve given clothes and toys to over 300 families; making sure local kids have a Christmas they deserve.
It is a non-profit organization that specializes in giving at-risk youth a chance to participate in positive activities all year round. Three years ago, they started the toy and clothing drive.
“When we first did this, we probably served 60-70 families and the very next year we were well over 100 and the year after that and this year again, so,” said Perroyt Epting, President and Founder of Southerns Youth Movements.
Earlier this year in October and November, families who wanted to participate in the toy drive filled out a wish list for Christmas.
“That’s basically each family writes how many children you got. You get to tell us up to four things the child may want and we try to get exact items or something similar so each child can enjoy themselves,” said Epting.
Sponsors from the town of Richwood, the Learning and Outreach Center in West Monroe, home depot, and the Onyx Lounge donated all the clothes and toys to the drive.
Workers say one of their favorite parts of the drive is seeing the kid’s faces light up when they get presents for Christmas.
“The deliveries are so special. You almost feel like Santa Claus. The parents are waiting, kids are excited…it definitely motivates us to continue to do this throughout the year,” said Epting.
Each child got to choose two toys while the parents picked out clothes.
“I like Christmas. I get lots of toys. Good,” said a young boy.
Southerns Youth Movements says they started their youth program because there was a need in the community to help at-risk kids.
Tomorrow morning, SYM workers will be delivering the remainder of the items directly to the houses of families who signed their wish list and weren’t able to come today.