Toys for Tots Partnership Brings Community Together

Amanda Granato, Editor-in-Chief

The community event for Toys for Tots held Dec. 12 at the Mansfield ISD Center generated 16,148 toys and $15,550 in donations, and was covered by the Fox 4 media team on the nightly news. Principal Des Stewart felt very strongly about the success of the toy drive.

“Understanding that it’s tough economic times right now, I think Bronco Nation did a good job as far as contributing toys to the disadvantaged,” Mr. Stewart said. “I think, as a district and as a community, we did a phenomenal job.”

Toy for Tots collection boxes were available at all MISD campuses, as well as at many local businesses around the city. Much of the cash donations came from business in and around Mansfield.

“To see the community and the high schools partner for a common cause was powerful,” Mr. Stewart said. “I think as a whole, MISD as well as the city of Mansfield, we did our parts and showed neighboring cities how it should be done.”

The community event, which was free to enter, featured free pictures with Santa, a pair of reindeer, performances from several school organizations, music and booths providing snacks and face painting.

“I commend all the people who participated,” Mr. Stewart said. “Just to see all the young people- the little kids all the way up to our young men and young women- performing and just being part of the whole event was fascinating. It’s good to see everybody coming together for a common cause.”

Senior Morgan Nance attended the event and enjoyed the idea of helping children.

“The best part of the evening was being able to help with loading all the Christmas presents onto the trucks,” Nance said. “It was amazing to see how many kids will wake up Christmas morning with a nice present.”

Mansfield was designated an official Toys for Tots collection site, and Mayor David Cook believes the partnership with the charity was successful.

“I think the success [of the partnership] was better than any of us expected,” Mayor Cook said. “Mansfield School District and the City of Mansfield did a wonderful job.”

Mayor Cook attended the community event celebrating the charity, and enjoyed the entertainment provided as well as the community spirit, noting the ‘mascot race’ as a highlight of the night.

“[The celebration] really showed the community pride we have in Mansfield,” Mayor Cook said. “I’m very proud of our high schools and our community.”

The high schools competed to collect the most toys. Fox 4 featured Legacy as the winner of the halfway point prize, having collected the most toys at the end of first segment of the competition. Principal Stewart feels the competition helped motivate students for the charity.

“Even though we’re all donating and contributing the common cause, there’s always a competition factor that plays a part,” Mr. Stewart said. “Everyone wants to win. But we all know that throughout the entire event every kid and every school in MISD is a winner. It’s a win-win for all.”

Despite the success the competition lent the toy drive, senior Christina Cranshaw believes the event should have been about more than winning.

“I don’t think something of this nature should have been a competition, but instead it should have been through the willingness and kindness of our own hearts,” Cranshaw said. “It’s not about which school wins, but making sure that little kids out there have a decent holiday.”

Teen Leadership teacher Dena Schimming organized Legacy’s drive to collect toys, and felt the event was a success.

“I thought it was a great way to bring our school closer to the community,” Mrs. Schimming said. “Healthy competition at school is a good thing, especially when it brings people together for a common cause.”

Mayor Cook had only one thing to say about whether or not MISD should take part in the charity again.