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Deck the Halls: The Big Savannah Toy Drive Returns for Second Year

Updated December 13, 2022 at 2:01 p.m.

This holiday season, the Savannah community can rally its spirit of charity and goodwill by donating to children less fortunate. Now through Dec. 16, the Big Savannah Toy Drive is collecting holiday gifts for children supported by Coastal Children’s Advocacy Center.


The Big Savannah Toy Drive was launched in 2021 as a collaborative effort to bring local businesses and members of the public together to support a nonprofit organization during the holiday season. 


Coastal Children’s Advocacy Center is a private, nonprofit agency that provides a safe, confidential, child-friendly site for free investigative and therapeutic services for victims of abuse. CCAC’s mission is to unite public, private, and community resources to provide each child who has suffered abuse with justice, hope, and healing.


“The holidays will be brighter for our children thanks to the Big Savannah Toy Drive,” said Rose Grant-Wiseman, Executive Director of CCAC. “Each child creates a wish list and seeing that fulfilled gives them hope. We are so thankful to be a part of a community that supports our kids.” 


In 2021, CCAC chose 25 families to create wish lists, and donors were able to buy gifts based on the information provided in each list. This year, they hope to fulfill the wishes of 35 families.


“Last year, we had a deadline for the families to get us their lists, but we of course still had kids coming in after that date had already passed. We had a number of wonderful donors who gave general gifts for those kids who weren’t able to create their own list,” said Grant-Wiseman. 


Families who received gifts last year were completely surprised at how many members of the Savannah community pitched in to make their Christmas as special as possible. 


“Most of these families were financially challenged, so the ability to assist them for the holidays was a blessing. They created these lists themselves, so they weren’t surprised by what they received, but I do think they were surprised at the abundance of it all,” noted Grant-Wiseman. 


“The thing about the COVID-19 pandemic was that kids didn’t have access to their usual outlets, like hanging out with their friends or going to school,” said Grant-Wiseman. “A lot of kids lost family members to COVID, and they’re still going through that trauma.” 


CCAC works with children ages three to 18 years old who experience abuse or violence, and through this effort, CCAC aims to lift their spirits and give them hope for the future.


“The fact that the families that are donating gifts don’t know who these kids are makes the morale of the kids grow higher,” said Grant-Wiseman. “They see that people care and they see the good side of humanity when our community steps up.”


On Friday, December 16, the campaign will conclude with a finale event with Old Savannah Tours providing a trolley to pick up all of the gifts collected during the toy drive. The wrap-up event will be held at The Eichholz Law Firm immediately following the collection.


“Our kids are a huge part of our community,” said Rose Grant-Wiseman. “That’s what it’s all about, and that’s what we’re here to do – serve the community.”


For more information on how to positively impact a child’s Christmas, or to get involved with this year’s toy drive, visit
bigsavannahtoydrive.com.

Published December 13, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

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