MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -South Carolinas Mothers Against Violence didn’t let the coronavirus stop it from making some Christmas dreams come true this year, thanks to its tenth-annual toy drive.
“I brought it to pass. I said, ‘We need to do something for the children that lost their parents to violence,’” said South Carolina Mothers Against Violence President Elizabeth Bowens.
The group advocates against violence for the sake of the families affected, but also collects donations for the drive for children impacted by violence.
“My favorite part about Christmas is being with my family and playing games and stuff,” said Samillia, one of the children who received a gift.
Elizabeth Bowens started the toy drive a decade ago for children who had lost parents due to violence. Since then, it’s expanded to also bring gifts to children who have a parent incarcerated during the holidays.
“Mainly, I just wanted to be with my parents,” said Tatiana, who received one of the gifts.
The toy drive would usually happen at a church, but because of the pandemic, it was a drive-thru this year at Myrtle Waves Water Park to try to reduce contact.
Myrtle Waves owner Mark Lazarus also chipped in $25 Food Lion gift cards for the parents and caretakers.
The Myrtle Beach Police Department also sponsored several kids.
“We brought in clothes,” said Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock. “We brought in some toys. As much as we can, we’re going to continue to try to do that as much as they need throughout the season.”
The drive provides Mothers Against Violence the opportunity to advocate for their cause while also making Christmas a little better for all the children.
“If we can save a life and convey to some young person that violence is not the way, buy a toy for a child, see the smile on a child’s face, keep your distance and be able to do something for someone else,” said Bowens.
Last year, the South Carolina Mothers Against Violence served 50 children and think they were able to help even more children this year.