Running a toy drive at Woodland Regional High School has been Loren Luddy’s mission since the opening of the school in 2001. This year, the 20th year anniversary since it all started, Luddy helps to bring some joy into children’s lives.
“It feels great to help anybody, but I love getting the students involved because they decide that they like helping people. They make the spreadsheets, and make sure that every kid has a toy.”
There are usually 75-150 toys received over the course of a few days that she will be able to give away. Every year she usually receives a list of participating organizations; however this year, due to Covid-19 and the lack of Christmas parties, Luddy is giving them to Toys for Tots, Prospect Park and Rec Toy Drive, and Safe Haven. Luddy enjoys getting her advisory involved with the toy drive to help her during the process. She feels grateful for all the people that pitch in to help her out.
“It’s amazing how many advisories, teachers, and staff give gifts. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming and I can’t do it in one trip in my car,” Luddy explains. “It’s nice to see the Woodland community really getting together and making a difference.”
The process happens over the course of a few days. She first sends out the notice to all advisories of Woodland explaining what toys she needs and for what ages. She gives the advisories a few days to bring in toys and then she collects all of them in her room. After that, her and her advisory makes sure there are enough toys to go around. They make tags for each gift and organize them by age and gender. Next, the organizations would pick up the toys from the school. Unfortunately this year, she will drop them off at the organizations instead.
Even though there were difficulties this year, with the help of the Region-16 community, Luddy still managed to make some boys and girls happy through it all.