When Peggy Peafnall was first asked to oversee a school Christmas fundraiser, she agreed out of obligation. But four years later, the seasonal toy drive is one of her favorite highlights of the holiday season.
“I absolutely love it,” she said. “It is a blessing to be part of every year.”
Peafnall is one of the many south-central Idaho volunteers who participate in the annual U.S Marine Corps Toys for Tots/KMVT Christmas for Kids program. The program is designed to provide Christmas gifts to children of families who would otherwise be unable to afford the presents.
Families fill out an application to verify their level of need and usually need to be at or below the 135 percent of the federal poverty rate.
Last year, the program distributed toys to 6,000 kids, said Paul Johnson, program coordinator.
“I’m guessing it’s going to be at least that or more,” he said of this year. “We could very easily see more.”
Peafnall collects applications for Hagerman School District and includes an extra sheet on the form for families to make special requests. The forms are then distributed to local churches and the fire department to help meet the extra need.
She says the community’s high level of involvement in the toy program has helped keep her wanting to volunteer.
“It’s not the same with every application drop-off site, but we’re able to get the community on board with this,” Peafnall said. “We’ve been able to deliver wood to one family along with toys. Sometimes we’re out there fixing broken appliances, it all depends what’s asked and finding out how we can help them out.”