This will be Tim Boykin’s seventh year distributing toys for the young people of Clinton who are in need. Boykin serves as director of The Sampson Center on Barden Street and also organizes the Clinton Recreation and Parks’ annual Christmas Sharing Toys for Tots program. Boykin is planning on distributing over 500 toys to children in need from the center on Saturday, Dec. 22.
The Christmas Sharing Toys for Tots event will begin at 2 p.m. at the Sampson Center. But before toys can be distributed, parents or guardians of needy children, must come by and preregister. The child also must accompany the adult in order to receive the toy on Saturday, Dec. 22.
“We are not into getting into anyone’s business and do not require them to show need. We just trust that people of the community will understand what we are trying to do and not abuse this opportunity. We strongly feel and know the need to reach out into our community and help these children who might not receive some toy at this most special time of the year,” stressed Boykin.
He further stressed that space was limited so the earlier parents sign up the better chance they’ll have of ensuring their child will have a gift.
New, unwrapped toys may be donated at the Sampson Center Monday through Friday, from 2 until 7 p.m.
“We accept toys for birth to age 12. Financial donations are also accepted. We do not put a dollar amount on the toys donated because we want anyone who feels they want to donate to have the opportunity to do so,” expressed Boykin.
The Sampson Center director is quick to state that he did not originate this project.
“Former Sampson Center director Shelton McCallop came up with the idea to help the kids in this area. With the Clinton Rec Department’s help, we have expanded the program and now we strive to assist children throughout the area. We have had children from Roseboro to participate in the past,” shared Boykin.
He admitted that the project has really grown, and he expects to serve some 500 children this year.
“We hope people will feel generous and donate toys to us. We cannot afford to buy them all ourselves, and the need is so great. It is so sad to think that there might be a child somewhere nearby that does not receive anything here at Christmas,” remarked Boykin.
The center will accept donations up until Friday night, Dec. 21.
Boykin explained that the Christmas Sharing Toys for Tots is a local program and is not affiliated with other nationally known programs.
“This is something we do here to help the children who are local and in our communities. Christmas was started as a time of God’s greatest gift to us ,and we express our love by giving back to others. Providing joy for children at Christmas is just a special feeling that cannot truly be described, but it is something I feel I must do. Hopefully others feel the same way,” asserted Boykin. “These kids are right here in our own backyards and we cannot over look them.”
Boykin also expressed his appreciation to the Clinton-Sampson Rotary Club whose members volunteer each year to come wrap the majority of the gifts that are donated, as well as donate their own bundle of gifts to the cause.
“The Rotary Club volunteers to wrap our toys as one of their service projects. Many of them also provide numerous gifts, themselves, when they come to wrap the toys. We cannot thank them enough,” stressed Boykin.
The director added that other community volunteers complete the wrapping duties for toys that are donated after the Rotary Club wraps the majority of the toys.
Boykin again stressed the need for parents or guardians to come by and sign their children up so a toy will be available for each and every child the Saturday of distribution.
“My goal and calling as director of the Sampson Center is to work with these young people and to make them, and the community, a better place for all as long as I am here,” concluded Boykin’s comments.