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Boy collects toys for hundreds of others

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, at 12:04 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009, at 6:29 a.m.

Adam said he wakes up Christmas morning not only to see the presents he's received but to think about the nearly 1,000 he's given away.

"I like the feeling of waking up on Christmas morning thinking about all those people I helped," the 9-year-old Wichita boy said Tuesday, after delivering 955 toys he had collected for the Catholic Charities' Christmas Sharing toy drive.

It's the third year Adam has collected hundreds of toys for the needy. His last name isn't being released at the request of his family.

"After all, they've had more than 900 toys at their house the last week," said Teresa Kunze, Catholic Charities' communications director.

Adam's mother said she began calling around to local charities when Adam was 6 years old and asked how he could help the less fortunate.

"A lot of places said that there really wasn't anything in the way of volunteering (for that age)," said Kimberleigh, Adam's mother.

Catholic Charities said they could always use help with the toy drive.

"I told Adam, I found a place to volunteer, and he said, 'Mom, why don't we collect our own toys?' " Kimberleigh said.

Adam said he began handing out fliers asking for donations from neighbors three weeks ago. He also visited local businesses asking for help collecting.

"I go and I say, 'Could I speak to the manager?' " Adam said. "I then ask them if I could decorate a box where people could leave toys. And they either say no, or they say yes."

Kimberleigh said their family decorates collections boxes for restaurants and other businesses.

This year, Best Buy collected $1,000 for Adam to use to buy toys. His mom said Adam already had collected $400 on his own.

Adam fell short of his goal of 1,500 toys. Kunze said the drive is still taking donations in Adam's name.

Donations will be received from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Thursday at 5725 E. Kellogg, a vacant building donated as the collection site. It is on Frontage Road just east of Edgemoor.

Cereal and nonperishable food items also are needed, Kunze said.

Catholic Charities said toys and items will be picked up Friday and Saturday by about 400 local families. This year the nonprofit will serve about 1,000 children in its Christmas sharing program.

Reach Ron Sylvester at 316-268-6514 or rsylvester@wichitaeagle.com.

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