gathered 5,000 toys for children in need in their 6
annual toy drive. Monday, many different organizations throughout Texoma came to claim their many bags of toys, to give to children in their community.
"Sometimes these presents, these Christmas gifts are the only toy that these kids are going get and that just means so much that we were able to do this, that Kiowa Casino is able to do this," said Callie Singh, Director Of Marketing at Kiowa Casino.
For many the holiday means families, celebration, and gifts. But nearly
of Texas children live in low income families, making toys seem like a luxury, according to the
"Every year we find children who don't believe in Santa and, you know, they don't believe in Christmas," said Sheila Choate, Executive Director at the
. "It is a blessing to see those kiddos get those gifts they really wished for, and see the smile on their faces."
"Receiving a new shiny toy at Christmas tells a child three things. One, I am thought of, two, Santa hasn't missed me, and that new toy shows that somebody out there does care," said Melissa Bardin, from
But that's not all it does. Studies show that toys are critical for a child's motor skill development, and brain growth, according to a study released by the
. The study said play is essential for happy, healthy, productive lives.
"I've been doing it long enough to where I see kids that are grown, and they still come around to the fire stations and thank us," said Captain Joe Jackson, with the Wichita Falls Fire Department.
Those organizations said it's their mission to make holiday dreams come true, and this year, they are looking forward to doing just that.
"It puts a smile on our faces," said Robert Wade with the Burkburnett Fire Department. "When we see the kids smile, like the less fortunate, we definitely like to help them out."
Kiowa Casino plans on continuing their toy drive tradition. Bringing in more and more toys every year to meet the growing demand of children in poverty.