Faith students collect toys for needy kids

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Holly Fesperman Lee

Salisbury Post

FAITH — More than 500 toys left Faith Elementary School on Wednesday headed for needy children. It was all part of the Toys for Tots program.

Fifth-grade students from Faith’s morning news broadcast teams chose Toys for Tots as a service project in memory of Lance Corporal Nathan Elrod, a Marine from eastern Rowan County who was killed in Iraq in October.

The children also collected the toys in honor of all military service men and women in the community, said Ginger Smith, Faith’s media specialist.

Elrod died during his second tour of duty in Iraq when an enemy explosive hit his Humvee. Elrod graduated from East Rowan High School and was only 20 when he died.

The Marines have been collecting toys for needy children through the Toys for Tots program since 1947. Last year, the program delivered more than 18.5 million toys to more than 7.4 million needy children.

Faith’s broadcast teams started the toy drive on Nov. 27 and asked Faith school families to donate new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls of all ages.

Each morning, broadcast crew members went to designated classrooms to collect toys and bring them to the media center.

Toys collected each day were displayed on the morning news to keep students informed on how the project was going.

At the project’s end on Dec. 15, the total toy count came to 557.

Students exemplified December’s character education word, “kindness,” by making the project a success, Smith said.

Lance Corporal Nate Rogers and Corporal Matt Rogers, twin brothers who have both served two tours of duty in Iraq, were on hand Tuesday to pick up the toys Faith Elementary students collected.

Smith said students from the broadcast team helped the two Marines load the toys into trucks and thanked them for helping make the Toys for Tots project possible.

Contact Holly Lee at 704-797-7683 or