With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, thoughts of preparing a last minute wish list for Santa Claus, and the excitement of a break from school, many first graders may not be thinking about putting others before themselves. That’s not the case for 7 year-old Will Denning of Smithfield.
A few weeks ago, Will had put on his pajamas and was in the living room playing with his toys just before bedtime when he looked at his parents and said, “I want to have a toy drive.”
The following night, Will, a student at Neuse Charter School, was playing with his toys again and began discussing the toy drive a second time with his parents. Will was adamant that he wanted every child to have a toy for Christmas.
Will told his parents, Bob and Michelle Denning, he knew that some kids have it tough and may not be getting anything this Christmas. So he felt having a toy drive was the best solution.
His heartfelt plea worked. With the help of his parents, the toy drive was on.
His parents had Will call the owners of several local businesses to get permission to place collection boxes in their stores. Next, Will contacted the Salvation Army and Harbor House to enlist their help in getting the toys to needy boys and girls on Christmas Day.
Will’s toy drive was a huge success. Over 100 toys were donated by the public at the collection box locations, toys that were given to needy children on Christmas Day.
“Will is such a compassionate child,” said Samantha Dunn his teacher at Neuse Charter. “He shared with us the other day that he wanted to help others this Christmas because he wanted to make sure everyone had something for Christmas. He is so caring and generous. We can all learn a very valuable lesson from Will this Christmas to help others.”