In the community

Vale resident collects over a thousand toys for needy kids this Christmas

VALE – Nobody can call Lavon Carrier a last-minute Christmas shopper. 

Help Them to Hope, a local nonprofit that delivers food, clothing and toys to needy families during the holidays, recently picked up over 1,000 stuffed animals and toys from Carrier’s home in Vale. 

Now she is working on next year’s donation. 

Carrier, a longtime Vale resident who raised four kids on her family’s farm in Willowcreek, has been collecting toys for kids for over a decade. 

The inspiration came one year after she read about Help Them to Hope, Carrier said. 

“I just thought,” Carrier said, “well,  as long as (Help Them to Hope) can help the kids (Christmas presents).”

Carrier collects the toys from local stores, yard sales and through donations. 

Carrier, 81, refurbishes them too. Whether sewing up a ripped stuffed animal or getting a new ribbon for a Barbie doll, she does whatever it takes to make that year’s donation look new. 

She has also collected donation cans from the senior dances she attends to buy new toys throughout the year. 

“It’s a fun project,” she said. 

Pam Barton, who, along with her husband Brent, picked up the 45 boxes of toys for Help Them to Hope, said the organization has depended on Carrier for years. 

“It is certainly an amazing undertaking on her part,” Barton said. 

Carrier said she gets more back from helping others. 

“I like helping people out,” Carrier said. “It makes you feel good to know you’re (helping others).”

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