WILMINGTON ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - During a giving time of the year, the Thompson family wanted to donate some of their un-used toys to people who need them.
But what they did is so unique and became so popular that dozens of people in the community also joined in.
A little slice of the North Pole sits on Wilmington Island - actually right in the Thompson’s front yard.
“The simplest toy can just make a kid’s heart swell,” said Dallas Thompson.
Thompson built a fire truck as a bed, which was made into a decoration this year. It lights up and plays tunes. But about two weeks ago, this decoration turned into a toy collector.
The first toy put on the ‘firetruck of giving’ was a teddy bear, donated by the Thompson family. Since then, mounds of toys have been put on it by the community both new and used. It all stems from an idea his wife had to clear some un-used toys out of the house to make room for what Santa was bringing.
“Somebody asked her if they could put out their own toys and she said yes, absolutely.”
No matter the time of day trinkets, clothes or even big wheels can be dropped off. The family says the best part is simply seeing a child happy.
“It’s more than us. We are just facilitators of this operation and I think for years to come it’s just going to keep getting bigger and bigger.”
Thompson is a firefighter and he says giving back is just something in the firefighter culture. When his daughter was born, he too benefited from the kindness of others to give.
“I had a sergeant who donated a lot of clothes and we were young at the time, so it gave us a lot of help.”
Already, there’s a plan in store for next year’s display.
“Make it better, add some things to it. Maybe make a fire house.”
But this isn’t the only time the Thompson’s give back. Another new tradition is on Thanksgiving they donate piles of clothes to the homeless. On January 1st the toys will be donated to the Children’s Hospital.
“My daughter was in the hospital and they gave, not only my 4-year-old but my 2-year-old toys as well when we were there.”
Thompson says they never expected this amount of community support and that it’s the true meaning of the holidays.