December 12, 2009 10:20:00 PM
Jan Swoope - email@example.com
Bes Sumrall''s birthday party had all the usual trimmings. Friends to play with, colorful balloons, a special cake and gifts -- plenty of gifts. But for this Columbus toddler, there was a twist to turning 2. All the new, brightly-packaged toys brought to this party were not for Bes; they were destined for Toys for Tots and children in need in this community.
"This was something we''ve wanted to do for a while," said Amy Sumrall, Bes'' mother. "We explained to the kids that the toys weren''t going to Bes, but to other children that didn''t have toys."
Some of the children are too young to comprehend, of course, Sumrall said, but that doesn''t lessen the positive impact of their gifts.
The Toys for Tots program, founded in 1947, is run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Toys are donated to children whose parents can''t afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. The familiar logo of a train with the Toys for Tots name was designed by Walt Disney.
New, unwrapped toys are collected each fall and winter for distribution.
You can help, too
Melody Music Co. in Columbus serves as a collection center. Toys can be donated at their office at 702 Second Ave. N., even up to Christmas Day. Toys may also be delivered to H&R Block, 921 E. Alabama St., in Columbus.
Starkville collection boxes are located at Comfort Suites, 801 Russell St., and H&R Block at 500 Russell St. and at 806-A Highway 12. In West Point, toys may be dropped off at H&R Block at 335 Highway 45 S. H&R Block locations can accept toys until Dec. 17.
For information about donations, or the need for assistance, contact Charles Adkins at 662-327-4016.
As for Bes'' birthday, her family is glad they could help others in this season of giving.
"Her birthday is so close to Christmas, and she has plenty of toys," her mother said, "She didn''t mind one bit that those toys weren''t hers. She was more interested in singing ''Happy Birthday'' and blowing out the candles!"
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.