Thomas’s Toy Shop continues annual toy drive

Published 7:19 am Monday, December 18, 2023

There are multiple ways to spread Christmas Cheer for the holiday season.

Once again, the Thomas’s Toy Shop served such purposes.

On Sunday, Dec. 10th, the toy drive occurred from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Abettor Brewery at 128 N. Highland Street.

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“We have had a really good turnout this year as far as people donating the toys. We’re just anxious to give them away”, said Lisa McCoy, who helped organize the event. “We are glad that we have Abettor Brewery to host this for us [and] to have a nice, cozy atmosphere.”

The toy drive, designed for children ages 12 and under, allows others to provide new or gently used toys that underprivileged and other children from Clark County can enjoy.

While the event took place last Sunday, action empowering it was well underway beforehand.

Individuals were welcomed to drop off gifts at South Main Street Grocery and Grill, and all Dollar General stores throughout Winchester.

Additionally, a bingo event on Dec. 4th served as a fundraiser, with merchandise, gift cards, or monetary donations toward the cause being appreciated.

People in charge of the event even helped shop, visiting places such as Cracker Barrel.

Attendees with children ages 12 and under could take home a gift of their choosing.

So large was the number of gifts that had been donated that it stretched from the entrance toward the back of the building.

Among the large variety that could be provided for children of various ages were action figures, toy trucks, plush toys, children’s books, toy cars, Barbie’s Dreamhouse, a lightsaber, an alphabet board, board games, a tricycle and more.

Tracey Jones, who helped volunteer with the event, was also present with her grandson.

“He’s in second grade, and he loves Christmas, so this is perfect,” Jones said. “[I enjoy] how people have come together.”

Yet toys were not all that kids – and adults – could enjoy.

For food and drink, the event featured pizza, donuts, chocolate milk, white milk, orange juice, potato chips and more.

Certainly not least, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus – surrounded by a Christmas tree and other decorations – were present for children to visit.

Tyler Montgomery, owner of Abettor Brewery, spoke of the family history regarding the event.

“My grandmother, Lois [Thomas], has put this on [for] the last several years. Once we got this space, it just made sense to open it up for her, and [is] something that helped the community,” Montgomery said. “We get just a little bit of everything…people have been donating non-stop. That’s a really cool aspect of it.”

Along with Thomas, Winchester resident Terry Skipworth played a significant role in last Sunday’s event.

With many toys taken due to the many children attending, those who hosted showed gratitude.

“It’s just been really fun to watch the community come together and be responsive [to] something like this,” Montgomery added.