WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The American Rescue Workers in Williamsport held their annual toy distribution on Thursday. The organization provided toys to more than 500 kids across Lycoming County.
Plastic bags lined the recreation room at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Williamsport. Those bags are filled with toys, part of the American Rescue Worker's Christmas toy distribution.
"We have 537 children that are going to be served with toys. A majority of the families are from Williamsport, and they are all families who otherwise wouldn't be able to provide Christmas for their children," said director of development Valerie Fessler.
More than 300 families signed up to receive toys this Christmas. Some parents picking up toys say they are relieved that their children will have something to open up on Christmas Day.
"I appreciate the things that the community does for the kids and stuff like that. It is really nice, it's kind of, you know, a breather and extra help and stuff like that. I'm very thankful and grateful," said Trayana Randolph.
"It's a good thing. We can afford to buy him a few things but not a lot. This is a very good program. Someday I hope to be more successful so I can give to a program like this," Jacob Kuntz said.
"These families are near and dear to us, and we know that they are struggling throughout the year when it's just the normal time when you have to pay bills and do things like that, so Christmas time is an extra burden for them, so we are really blessed to have the opportunity to help them," Fessler said.
The organization had almost 30 volunteers working at the event. One of those volunteers is Clayton Witherite. He says he benefited from toy distributions like this one while growing up.
"It was nice to be able to experience a holiday like other children in the community and schools, so having that experience on Christmas Day like most of my life was just an amazing feeling to feel," Witherite said.
Ages for toys ranged from newborns to 12-year-old children. Each family got a bag containing 15 toys each.