‘Pickers’ conclude first toy, food drivePublished 2:32pm Wednesday, December 19, 2012
UPPER TOWNSHIP — It is better to give than to receive.
That’s what Justin Maddy said about his first year’s effort of Pickin’ for a Cause.
Maddy and his brother Jason, founders of the Tri-State Pickers Facebook page, started a toy and food drive for needy families in November.
With the help of local businesses and fire departments, the Pickers were able to collect nearly 1,000 cans of food and bundles of toys, from stuffed animals to building blocks. The group also raised about $300 to buy additional items.
Headquartered at the Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department, Maddy collected donations each Saturday with the help of fire chief J.D. Pancake.
Saturday was the last day for the drive and Maddy said the final push brought in a large number of items, thanks to a special visit from Santa Claus.
“We doubled on Saturday within the first two or three hours,” Maddy said.
“We had people bringing in six cases of food in at a time,” Pancake said.
The Pickers, with help from Pancake, have already started delivering to those in need.
“It’s definitely touching,” Maddy said. “It’s hard to believe a box of canned food would make their day. But it does.”
Next week, Pancake will dress in his turnout gear and he and the Pickers will visit children at Cabell Huntington Hospital to deliver toys.
“Every kid lying in a hospital needs a stuffed animal,” Maddy said.
Both Maddy and Pancake said they plan on making the toy and food drive a yearly effort.
“I hope next year we can get a little better organized and make it bigger and better,” Pancake said.
In the coming weeks, Maddy said he planned on organizing a clothing drive for winter wear.