Students in Chapmanville, WV collect toys for area children

[image] Students wrap the gifts they have collected.

Students in Chapmanville, WV are getting in on a countywide effort to make certain all children in their communities have new toys to play with Christmas morning.

A JROTC program was recently launched at Chapmanville Regional High School. Students participating in that program wanted to become more involved. So they and other classmates have formed a Junior LEAD organization. It is modeled after the LEAD program that currently conducts numerous outreach efforts in Logan County.

Junior LEAD's first big project has been to help with the Operation Santa toy drive. Students and faculty teamed up to collect toys to contribute to the effort. They have also helped by wrapping hundreds of toys.

"I've really learned that you have to be thankful for what you have because other people are less fortunate than you are," said Austin Workman, the president of the student group.

Over 250 toys have already been delivered to the Chapmanville Fire Department. Trucks will be going out into the community in the days leading up to Christmas to distribute the toys. Some of the toys will also be taken to the local bus garage. Drivers will help to deliver them to other parts of the Chapmanville area.

"There are more people than you would think that live in poverty. They have to accept these presents to have their Christmas at all," said student Adam Terry.

Major Richard Ojeda is the advisor for the effort. He said the reality is that with so many people currently laid off or working but unable to make ends meet, this toy drive is more important than ever.

"I am amazed at the students and faculty at Chapmanville Regional High School and how they have come together to support each other," Ojeda said.

The Operation Santa effort involves numerous groups throughout Logan County. They plan to reach their goal of blanketing every community in the county with new toys.

More toy donations are still needed. If you would like to contribute call 304-896-8551.

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