For Angelina and Andrew Rucker, a Christmas toy drive to help families in need helps them keep alive the memory of their son, Killian.
Killian, who was born Dec. 3, 2018, suffered severe heart defects. He died in July 2019 after spending seven and a half months in the hospital.
“When his birthday came around in December, I wanted to do something to keep his name out there,” said Angelina Rucker. “I was talking with my sister and she suggested seeing if we could do a toy drive for Christmas.”
After a successful first year of the drive, Killian’s Christmas Toy Drive is back. According to Rucker, this year’s drive will double the number of families helped last season.
“We already have 14 families this year,” she explained. “We are not accepting any more families right now. We want to see where we are at with toys and donations. We will reassess in a couple of weeks to see if we can take any more families.”
Rucker said last year she tried to provide up to six gifts per child, something for the parents and a board game for the entire family.
The toy drive seeks donations of toys and money from those wishing to help support the cause.
This year’s drive already has lots of presents, mainly for younger children. Rucker said the drive is still seeking gifts for older children. “For those looking to donate, I would suggest gifts geared for older children.”
She said monetary donations are welcome and may be used to provide a grocery store gift card for families.
Rucker said there are no income requirements for families to qualify. “It’s strictly first-come, first-serve. We do this in the local community and the immediate area around Manchester. Most of those who donate are from Manchester and the area around it.”
For those wishing to donate or who have questions about the program, they may reach out to Rucker on the Killian’s Christmas Toy Drive Facebook page or on her personal Facebook page. She also accepts monetary donations through PayPal.