Meridian, Miss. This area's biggest toy drive, the WTOK Toython, kicks off on Friday.
Rain or shine, the Newscenter 11 team will be standing by this weekend to collect toys for kids of all ages. It's all to ensure this holiday season is a good one for everyone. Our staff couldn't be more excited.
"Toython's great," WTOK Production Assistant Tom Williams says. "It's very exciting. And it's really good for the people that work at WTOK to get out and see members of the community, giving back to the community."
"I think probably the most fun about Toython is the chance to see the community come out and help those who are in need," Chief Meteorologist Brian Hutton, Jr. says. "You know, as a station, we're in the forefront of the community. You know, telling about news and events, but to be able to give back to the community we serve, I think is one of the highlights. And to get the community involved with us makes it enjoyable every year."
One of the major changes that you'll notice about this year's Toython is that there's not one, but two places you can make your donation. Not only the Bonita Walmart, but also the Walmart on Highway 19 North.
The toys collected will benefit five agencies in our area. Those include Care Lodge, Hope Village, Salvation Army, Wesley House, and Cans for Kids. Newscenter 11 caught up with Leslie Payne at Care Lodge, who is very excited about being part of Toython.
"This is so exciting for us," Payne says. "It is such a special time at the shelter for us, during the Christmas season. And to be able to be a part of the WTOK Toython is going to make all the difference in the world."
Toys will be distributed by members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. Toython runs from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.