Cross country team delivers donations to Toys for Tots on final day of practice
Next Thursday will be the last day of practice for the Saline Middle School cross country team. But unlike most practices, runners will have their hands full — they'll be carrying gift wrapped toys en route to a Toys for Tots donation box.
It's the second year that Coach Cindy Barnett's team members will be donating toys. They'll be running the mile from the school to chiropractor Dave Sharp's office, which means that they have to be able to carry and run a distance with the presents.
Barnett estimates about 40 students will participate in the run and drop off donations.
"This gives the students an opportunity to do something for someone else," said Barnett. "They're excited to share their gifts and it's a nice way to give back to the community."
Alexa Stern, a sixth-grader running cross country, said she is excited to be participating in the Toys for Tots run.
"I think that when we have all the things that we do, it's important to give things to kids who don't have as much as we do," said Alexa, who said kids were joking about someone having to run with a giant Teddy bear. "It's not about the size of a gift that matters. It's the thought that we are helping other kids who are in need."
This is the second year Sharp has invited the cross country runners to stop by with donations. Sharp anticipates that the students' donations will fill at least one box.
"They get to take some ownership in giving a toy to another kid," said Sharp, whose office has been a Toys for Tots drop off location for four years. "It's great for kids to serve other people and to have a value in what they receive. It puts their lives in perspective a little bit."
After their run, students will have the chance to sit down and relax at the Drowsy Parrot restaurant for a celebratory cup of hot chocolate.