Annual Toy Drive Gets a Big Boost From Local Youth with Creative Ideas For Fundraising

The holidays were brightened for many Children’s Center clients and their families, thanks to the efforts of a few area youth who found creative ways to make a difference. They may be small but their hearts are big — and their impact is impressive.

Handmade creations on display in the Marbrey’s living room-turned- pop-up shop.


Cora Marbrey is living proof that you don’t have to be big to have a big impact — and that everyone can do something to help.

For the third year in a row, the enterprising eight-year-old funded an impressive haul of Toy Drive donations through a one-day- only holiday pop-up shop held in her living room. They sold gift tags, ornaments, sugar scrubs, lip balms, bath salts, mugs, earrings and much more — all painstakingly hand- crafted by Cora and few new recruits.

“This year my friend Macy helped me do it,” explained Cora. “My sister Caylin got old enough to do it so now she gets to help do it.” Even her youngest sister Chloe was eager to help out where she could.

Her hard work paid off. This year’s sale raised just over $1,700, which allowed her to purchase 140 gifts for the Toy Drive.

Cora’s advice for other kids who want to make a difference: “I would say what they should first do is think about what they want to donate or how they want to help, and how they could maybe ask their mom or dad what skills they have and how they can use their talents.”

Open for business! (L-R) Cora, her mother Janell, Macy, Caylin, and Macy’s mother Raegan on sale day.


Luke McClaskey (age 14) and Riley Limberg (age 15) are no strangers to Children’s Center. They have helped with the annual food drive and other volunteer opportunities.

Older kids are often overlooked in toy drive donations but Luke and Riley wanted to make sure that every teen at Children’s Center received a holiday gift.

They got the idea to gather donations from friends and classmates. So, they rolled up their sleeves and made posters advertising a “Holiday Teen Gift Drive” which they posted at their school, Seton Catholic High School.

But they didn’t stop there. They spoke to their Freshman classes about Children’s Center and the services we provide to the community. They encouraged their class to give — and give they did!

Luke and Riley collected two large bins full of hair styling tools, soccer balls, basket balls, make up, and other teen gifts as well as approximately $700 in gift cards.

Luke and Riley unload bins full of teen-centric gifts donated by classmates.

Feeling inspired? How could you use your skills or network to do good in your community?
We’d love to hear your ideas! Get in touch with Matthew Butte at
Find more photos from the Toy Drive on our Facebook page!