This holiday season is the final wrap for a Lakeway Area tradition.
The Moyers family of Mooresburg and Bean Station has been participating in a toy drive for children in Grainger and Hawkins counties for most of a decade. But due to recent health problems, this year marks the final drive for the children.
“I had back surgery last year,” Julie Moyers said. “It’s just too much. We are going to try to talk to somebody about taking it over, but I’m afraid this person is going to do Sneedville only.”
Julie Moyers, a former business owner, said that the drive has always geared toward Hawkins and Grainger counties. She and her family has opened a toy shop the day before Thanksgiving for the last 12 years for those in need to pick out toys and other items for their children.
Her husband, Donald, has had two back surgeries, as well as Multiple Schorosis.
“I had one surgery on my back and one on my neck,” he said. “Neither one of us are able to keep it up. The MS has settled into my brain. My memory is one of my bad things.”
The drive depends on teachers from area schools to let the Moyers know which students need help over Christmas.
“The schools are how we mainly get the names,” Donald said. “The schools know the kids, knows who need the gifts.”
The schools send papers home to the kids’ parents to contact the Moyers. Even homes with smaller children who don’t go to school yet have been helped.
“All they have to show proof of welfare or food stamps to qualify,” Donald said.
The family has received donations of items from area businesses and shopped the major sales to make their funds stretch as far as possible.
“It’s truly been a blessing to work with my family to see all the wonderful faces of the children and the families that come here in need,” Eddie Bradley said. “It’s just an awesome job that they’ve done. They’re very appreciative to the schools for letting them know.”