2018 WPRL annual Toy Drive a success

For some, Christmas is a holiday that is highly anticipated throughout the entire year. For others however, it is a season of worry as to how gifts will land under the tree for the children. 

Eight years ago, Jerome Myles who is the director of gospel for 91.7 FM Alcorn radio, began a toy drive to help limit those worries for parents and their kids. Myles understand that there are those who are less fortunate than most. “My children have been blessed with things,” he said. “God laid it on my heart to do this for Jefferson and Claiborne County.” 

Every year since its inception, Myles along with the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Department, helped give out about 200 toys per year. That totals to about 1,600 since the drive’s beginning almost a decade ago. “Last year, we gave away two or three bikes,” Myles said. “We tell the kids go to a Christmas tree and pick up about two or three and they get really excited.” 

The drive initially begins by word of mouth in late October and by Thanksgiving, it further develops into something to be desired by the local citizens. 

Not wanting to take all the credit, Myles has been backed by many supporters since the inaugural year. “I want to send a thanks the Alcorn family,” Myles said. “My family and Ms. Myrtle Hedrick told me to just go for it.” From those at Alcorn to those who are in higher positions, the season of giving has truly become a season of giving in the local area. 

“The kids are always so grateful,” Myles said. “The smiles that they display are just amazing and the parents are just as grateful if not more.” The surrounding areas could get involved by donating this upcoming holiday season starting in late October. “Mr. Michael Atkins got involved by making this a class project,” Myles said. “Teachers are starting to turn this into a thing and it’s an easy grade for students.” Knowing that Christmas time can be stressful for some families in both Jefferson and Claiborne County, Jerome Myles along with help from the Alcorn Community, the Department of Human Services of Claiborne County, and everyday locals make the holidays a bit more enjoyable for those who are less fortunate.