My son did double duty this weekend on toy runs. Saturday he rode with the motorcycles as they made their rounds from spot to spot. Today he drove Star as we participated in the Jeep run for Toys for Tots. I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to go. I was up at five this morning thanks to the kittens. I was down walking mom’s dog and sending my son off for a newspaper for my dad. A mild headache that had settled behind my eyes that was not severe enough to incapacitate but enough to be uncomfortable. Since my son drove, I was able to participate. I’m so glad we did.
We had been told early on that if we wanted, we could get a bag meal at the place where we were meeting. Since my son had not told me anything until today, we missed the deadline for that. If you wanted the meal, arrive at one this afternoon. We arrived between one and one-thirty. Since I had no toys, some of the toys that had been donated in the boxes was given to me to carry in my jeep. We gathered together and took a couple group photos, moved to our jeeps and prepared to follow our deputy escorts.
As we pulled out, a fellow Jeep group member blocked traffic so we could all remain together. After that, we just ran. Being escorted, red lights meant nothing. Even though, if you watch many of the people around here red lights usually don’t mean much anyway. As we drove, many vehicles stopped, pulled over or in some form or other moved to allow our passing. In the entire time, I only saw one individual who was not impressed with what we were doing.
We moved from the meeting location, to the one stop we had to pick up toys and take a quick break. Approximately twenty minutes later we were on the move again. From the city to the country and around to where we were dropping off the toys.
The plan had been to drive around the building, the toys would be unloaded from the jeeps and then the empty would move out of the way. My son and I watched as the lines were not moving quickly so we abandoned Star in a safe out of the way location and moved to help. Jeep by Jeep we unloaded to fill up box after box. Veterans would move the full boxes inside to return with empty to be filled again. It felt really good to be more involved. Out here, with little to no connections with others, I had no toys. To be able to physically help in an effort to help things move more quickly made me feel better and more a part. Finally we were down to the last Jeeps and I had to run get Star and her load of toys.
Once those were taken and placed in the box, we were ready to leave. While we didn’t rush off, my son did finally manage to move around the group and head for home. I called my mother to let her know we were on the way and I would be able to walk her dog. After walking the dog, getting some firewood on the porch and preparing a big pot of chili, I am now tired and ready to do nothing.
The thing is, today was amazing. The count I saw somewhere along the lines was eighty two Jeeps and sixteen hundred toys. Yesterday there were hundreds of motorcycles, several rented trailers for toys, police escorts, fire trucks and paramedics in their annual toy run. Different organizations and yet one goal. Making children happy. Making sure that kids will get toys. In the process, those who participated, those who played any small part in making it happen, all are amazing in their own ways. People with heart, caring spirits, and the willingness to make and be the difference. People who want to show that good things can happen when people act for the right reason.