Volunteers during last year’s Toys For Tots campaign in Smithfield unload toys to go under the Christmas tree. Donations for this year’s campaign will be gathered at a music festival next Saturday.

Archived Story

Music fest for a good cause

Published 11:28pm Thursday, October 25, 2012

Christmas gifts for needy children will be collected during a live music event in Smithfield next Saturday benefiting the Toys For Tots Foundation.

The Nov. 3 music festival will take place at Smithfield Auto and Truck Center, 928 S. Church St., where the old Pomoco used to be.

The event starts at 1 p.m. with Some Assembly Required, followed by The Heather Edwards Band at 2 p.m., Celeste Kellogg at 3 p.m., Bria Kelly at 4 p.m., and the Smithfield High School Band at 5 p.m., followed by Hard Knox.

“Santa will be there for most of the day,” event organizer Elizabeth Moose wrote in an email, adding there will also be raffles and drawings.

As well as toys, Moose, who is organizing the Toys For Tots campaign in Isle of Wight and Surry counties with husband David Moose, said she anticipates cash donations at the event.

“People don’t really have toys on their minds right now, and if you give money, we can make that money go so much further than a regular person can going to Walmart,” she said in a phone interview.

“There are wholesale places where we can order stacks of toys,” and they can be precisely delivered at the right time and to the right location, she added.

With the holiday season fast approaching, Moose encouraged “parents, civic groups, churches, whatever,” to visit www.toysfortots.org with their toy requests.

At the website, click on “Request Toys,” then select “Virginia” from the dropdown menu, then from the dropdown menu on the next page, either “Surry,” “Isle of Wight” or “Suffolk.”

The campaign in Isle of Wight and Surry counties still needs volunteers, Moose said. She encouraged folks to give their time, no matter how much or little of it they can spare.

“The good thing about it, some of the positions we have open for volunteers are for people that can put a lot of time into it, because there’s training involved, but other people, if you only have one hour to donate, the training is very simple,” she said.

“Some of it’s very simple; you would be amazed at how many toys you can organize in just one hour.”

That’s one of the largest undertakings in a Toys For Tots campaign, Moose said: organizing all the toys that roll in, and making sure they are appropriately distributed.

With bicycles, for example, “we have to make sure that the address we’re given is a good place for a child to ride bike.

“If we only have one bike and five- and seven-year-old siblings, let’s not give one kid a bike and another kid a Frisbee,” she added.

Entry to the music festival, which runs till 9 p.m., costs a new, unwrapped toy or cash donation.

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