Christmas drives in full swing

By Bill Colvard -
Belinda Epperson, Will Johnson, Brandi Beck and Lisa Harris stand in front of the trailer that Country Cafe in Dobson plans to fill with toys to deliver to children in need. - Bill Colvard | The News

Organizations, businesses and individuals around the county are making appeals for cash and toys to aid people in need, both locally and further afield, during the holiday season. These are a few of them.

The Toy Drive

“If they’re still trying to rebuild their homes, let’s try to take a little of the stress off of them,” said Lisa Harris, owner of Country Cafe in Dobson, speaking of the people in Eastern North Carolina who are still suffering from the effects of last year’s floods.

Last year, Harris decided to try and help out in the aftermath of those floods, maybe take a little trailer full of toys down, but several of her friends and acquaintances told her,”Lisa, go big.” One offered to loan her a big trailer, the kind pulled by an 18-wheeler. Another donated a banner.

And then after some news coverage by The News and a local television station, Harris and her staff at Country Cafe filled that truck three-quarters of the way up.

As the holiday season approached this year, Harris said she knew it was too far to go to Texas or Florida, where storms had wreaked this year’s damage, and she certainly would not be able to provide the one-on-one service she had been able to do in Lumberton. “We set it up where we could be one-on-one with the parents who picked out toys for their kids.”

When she spoke with her contact at East Lumberton Baptist Church who told her the need was still great in that area, she decided to help them again this year.

“I felt like I needed to go back there,” she said, recalling the devastation she had witnessed, houses demolished and furniture scattered outside. “It’s really hard for me to think ‘what does my family need when you go down and see what these families are living through.’”

The line was a mile long at one point during the two days they were distributing toys.

This year, Harris’ goal is to completely fill the truck with toys.

Boxes for receiving new toys are at Country Cafe, 5075 Hwy. 268, Dobson, at the intersection of Hwy. 268 and Siloam Road, until Dec. 14. If anyone would rather give cash than buy a toy, Country Cafe employees will use donated funds to shop for toys. The cafe is open 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Drop-offs can be arranged for other hours by calling Lisa Harris at 336-401-5902.

Santa at Flat Rock for St. Jude

The Dollar General store in Flat Rock is holding an event on Saturday to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, whose mission is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. No child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay, according to a mission statement on the hospital’s website.

Dwayne Boone, organizer for the event, said that Santa will be at the store from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Leisure Time has provided a big, comfy recliner for Santa to sit on and chat with the kids. Boone encouraged parents to take their own pictures. The store will not be selling pictures. Donations are accepted and encouraged, and funds raised will be donated to St. Jude.

Dollar General in Flat Rock is at 1560 E. Pine St., Mount Airy. See Santa from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. Donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Toys for Tots

The Marine Corps League of Surry County, Detachment 1322 and Toys for Tots of Surry County are once again conducting a campaign to provide toys for needy children in Surry County.

A Fill-the-Carport Challenge has been added for 2017 with Carport Central, 737 S. Main St., Eagle Carport, 210 Airport Road and TNT Carports, 170 Holly Springs Road competing for a plaque to keep in their business for the company. “And bragging rights,” said Elizabeth Martin, volunteer with Surry Marine Detachment 1322 auxiliary. “They get bragging rights.”

The Fill-the-Truck Challenge that has been a part of the campaign for the past few years has new participants. Mount Airy Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Mount Airy Toyota Scion were joined last year by Simmons Nissan, who won last year’s Challenge. This year, Foothill Ford comes on board, and they have told organizers they plan to win, according to Martin. The dealerships are also competing for bragging rights and a plaque.

The toys collected will go to Surry County children in need, with most being distributed by the Salvation Army, and others given out at December’s “Friends Feeding Friends” dinner.

To find one of the 69 ‘Toys for Tots’ drop-off sites in Surry County, go to and follow the prompts to find the Surry campaign.

Edward Jones supports Toys for Tots

One of those drop-off points is the Mount Airy office of Edward Jones.

Local residents may help needy children in the area by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy to the office, 304 E. Independence Blvd., during regular business hours now through Dec. 8.

“With the holiday season around the corner, we are all getting ready for the festivities,” said Kody Easter, who is using his office as a drop-off point. “And as this is the season of giving, now is a great time to remember the less fortunate in our community.”

Belinda Epperson, Will Johnson, Brandi Beck and Lisa Harris stand in front of the trailer that Country Cafe in Dobson plans to fill with toys to deliver to children in need. Epperson, Will Johnson, Brandi Beck and Lisa Harris stand in front of the trailer that Country Cafe in Dobson plans to fill with toys to deliver to children in need. Bill Colvard | The News

By Bill Colvard

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.

Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.