The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

November 18, 2012

Mac's Toy Fund kicks off 82nd year

— Although many donations of toys, time and money to Mac’s Toy Fund each year are small, they make a big difference in the lives and hearts of needy children across Raleigh County.

Now in its 82nd year, Mac’s Toy Fund serves more than 4,000 children through age 12 and is the largest independent toy distribution charity in Raleigh County.

“For years we had an anonymous donation of pennies in a peanut jar. A rugged-looking man in a flannel shirt would bring it in and set it at the classified ad desk. Every donation, from a few pennies to $1,000, helps us meet our yearly goal of $25,000,” said Mac’s Toy Fund President Dawn Dayton.

And it is small donations — an outgrown bike or a discarded toy — that allow little girls to pick out their own doll refurbished by students at the Greater Beckley Christian School and women from the United Methodist Temple or boys and girls alike to get a great bike newly outfitted by the Boy Scout Troop 103 each year, she said.

The fund began humbly in 1930 by Ted “Mac” McDowell, editor of the Beckley Post-Herald, one of the two papers that merged years later to become The Register-Herald, Dayton said.

At the beginning of the Great Depression, McDowell knew many Raleigh County parents could not afford a full Christmas for their children. He began the long-running project and “simply put an appeal in the paper asking to help the kids, and Mac’s Toy Fund has been operating continuously since then,” she said.

Though small in its early years, it has grown substantially and is run entirely on volunteer work. All monetary donations go directly into distribution by purchasing fruit, new toys wholesale, parts for refurbished bikes, wood for toy construction at the Federal Correctional Institution — Beckley and stamps for the invitations which are selected and sent by the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Every year our goal is to raise $25,000, and every year the people in southern West Virginia and beyond help us meet that goal, even in the tough economic climate of the past few years. We are very appreciative and very blessed,” she said.

Some people who give to the fund each year have lived in Raleigh County and moved away or are people who were served as children. Many of those who serve the fund recall a time when Mac’s Toy Fund saved their Christmas after a parent lost a job or their family fell upon hard times.

Each year, familiar names of those who have been touched by Mac’s Toy Fund or whose dedication has touched those who work with the fund are listed among donors in The Register-Herald.

Dayton noted one Maryland couple who lost a child send a monetary donation in memory of “Baby Victoria” each year.

“Mr. McDowell would be proud that his name is still associated with this charity and that it is still chugging along, doing what he wanted it to — make children happy.”

Mac’s Toy Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity and all monetary gifts are tax-deductible.

To make a monetary donation to Mac’s Toy Fund, mail checks to Mac’s Toy Fund, P.O. Box 2398, Beckley, WV 25802. Used toys and dolls should be dropped off at BJW Printing and Office Supplies, 3100 Robert C. Byrd Drive, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Used bikes can be dropped off behind the right side of the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center on North Eisenhower Drive or at Beckley Fire Station No. 3, also on North Eisenhower. New or gently used coats can be dropped off at Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive.

This year’s Mac’s Toy Fund Distribution Party is scheduled for Dec. 15.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

Text Only
Latest News
  • forum1 VIDEO: Meet the Candidates

    ABOUT THE FORUM:
    The Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Meet the Candidates forum Thursday morning at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

    April 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Forum: U.S. Senate and House

    U.S. Senate
    The lone candidate for U.S. Senate to attend the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidate Forum, David Wamsley, described himself as “the most liberal candidate, the most conservative candidate and the most moderate candidate” in the race. Wamsley said he believes each individual issue should be dealt with on its merits and not because of partisan politics.

    April 25, 2014

  • Forum: House of Delegates

    District 28
    Democratic House of Delegates candidates Jeffry Pritt and James Brown focused on issues dealing with the efficiency of the Legislature, crime, infrastructure and taxes.

    April 25, 2014

  • Forum: Board of Education

    Perennial board of education issues of technology, consolidation and truancy were among the questions dealt with Thursday by candidates for a seat on the Raleigh County Board of Education.

    April 25, 2014

  • After being line-item vetoed from state budget, Meadow Bridge to get $50,000 from WVDOE

    After the prospect was initially vetoed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in March, Fayette County School Superintendent Keith Butcher announced this week that the county will indeed receive funds for Meadow Bridge High School after all.

    April 25, 2014

  • ARH, BARH registered nurses to stage one-day strike

    A national labor union announced Thursday that registered nurses at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital will join colleagues at Appalachian Regional Hospital in Hazard, Ky., in staging a one-day strike May 1.

    April 25, 2014

  • expressway Coalfields Expressway developments detailed by WVDOT

    A convoy of press, public and politics raised clouds of dust along an unfinished corridor of the long-awaited Coalfields Expressway Thursday during an open tour of the construction zone.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mercer County firefighters batting three different brush fires

    Firefighters are currently on the scene of at least three brush fires now burning in rural areas of Mercer County.

    April 24, 2014

  • BeverlyMagnumMUG.jpg Woman who attempted to rob bank at gunpoint captured in Tennessee

    A woman who attempted to rob a Bluefield bank at gunpoint has been captured in Tennessee , police said Thursday.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former federal prison worker pleads guilty to sex offense

    A former federal prison employee pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Beckley to engaging in abusive sexual contact with a female inmate.

    April 24, 2014