Despite Mother Nature altering the plan, the 23rd annual Martinsville Speedway Christmas Toy Drive was an overwhelming success as a record number of underprivileged children in the area will have a gift to open on Christmas morning.
Between corporate donations from companies like Appalachian Power, Bassett Furniture, Wright Funeral Services, Monogram Foods and Starling Ave. Baptist Church along with individual donations, nearly $10,000 was donated to Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County, which was able to buy more than 2,200 toys for more than 500 area children.
“This event is very important to me and the entire staff here and I’d be lying if I said wasn’t a little bit worried about this year’s toy drive, with the weather forcing our hand at canceling the Saturday portion,” Speedway President Clay Campbell said. “I’m so proud of our community rallying together, despite the circumstances to have the most successful toy drive yet.
“This certainly isn’t about Martinsville Speedway. It’s about the people in our community and how we look after each other. Martinsville and Henry County is a special place with special people.”
This year Grace Network reached out to schools, along with the network of churches they represent, to make sure they were able to reach as many kids as possible.
“We were very excited once again to be involved through Grace Network, because we have a lot of opportunities to reach the folks in the community. We are very appreciative to the folks at the Speedway to work together to make this happen,” Grace Network Executive Director Tracey Hinchliff said. “We were able to serve a record number of kids this year, even with the shut down due to the weather. It didn’t hinder the community coming out and donating the funds and toys and we are just very appreciative of the community.”
Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County is a network of more than 200 area churches that serves the underserved people of the community year round. For more information on Grace Network visit www.gracenetworkmhc.org.