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Lunch ladies setting Toys For Tots records

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WINONA (KYTX) - From bears to basketballs, the Toys For Tots warehouse is filled with thousands of toys that have been donated from people living in Smith County and the toys will go to help families who need a little help providing gifts for their kids this Christmas. But there's one group of ladies in one Smith County school district going above and beyond, and setting records, and challenging others to do the same. CBS 19's Amanda Roberson explains how Toys For Tots and generous women are making Christmas giving a reality.

Inside the Winona High School cafeteria, six ladies serve a warm lunch to students, but it's not just food they're stocking up on in the kitchen.

"This year we will have over 300 small toys and we're hoping by next Wednesday to have 4 or 5 bicycles," explained Winona High School Food Supervisor Margaret Speir. 

Speir is one of the lunch ladies who's helped make  Winona the number one school district in Smith County for Toys For Tots collections. "Our little small 2A school, so that's a pat on our back when a small school can out-do the Tyler schools when they have 27 campuses." 

And these women are proving it doesn't take a huge paycheck to support Toys For Tots.

"We start in September looking at what somebody has on sale, if you can buy one get one free," Speir explained. "Thanksgiving night when they have their little madness at the different stores we all went out." 

"They take their own money and they donate it to buy toys for kids," added Smith County Toys For Tots Coordinator Larry Adkins. "These ladies are just jewels. The sweethearts of Smith County." 

 Adkins said the women's giving spirit should be an encouragement to others. "Those who are closest to the need seem to feel like they need to give more. They give above and beyond what I would expect anybody to give." 


"We're not just here to feed our students," Speir explained. "We know how it is to wake up on Christmas morning, some of our students and not have anything and we really wanted our kids to know that we love them."

For Speir and her team, love and giving are what the season is all about.

Come December 21st, the Toys For Tots warehouse floor will be covered with black plastic bags full of toys to help those families who need a little help this Christmas. Toys For Tots said they're biggest need right now are gifts for boys and girls age 7-9. Collections sites will wrap up accepting donations next Wednesday, December 19th.  

For more information on Toys For Tots donations and where you can drop off a new, unopened toy, click here.

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