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Macon family saw biggest turnout for annual toy drive, despite pandemic

The Cawley family didn't let COVID-19 stop them from giving back. They said their 14th annual toy drive this year was the biggest turnout they've had.

MACON, Ga. — Chandler, Kip, Emily and Sterling Cawley know how much of a blessing it is to open presents on Christmas morning. That's why they help other kids feel that joy with their family's annual toy drive.

"We started it when I was two and it was just where people would come and bring their used toys that weren't all beat up for people who were less fortunate, because we felt like we were so blessed to have all that we had," Chandler said.

Their parents, Chris and Courtney, started the toy drive 14 years ago, asking people to drop off gently used toys at their house.

"We all had an abundance of things that we didn't use anymore and we knew they could be used by someone else, so we thought it would be a great idea to get together and just have good fellowship, share a cookie, glass of milk," Chris said.

"We had some board games and I think we had a scooter and a bike. A lot of stuffed animals," Emily said.

With everyone dealing with the pandemic this year, Courtney wasn't sure if they were going to do it.

"I just thought we wouldn't to do it this year... I felt its not safe, it's just not the year to be able to do it. My girls came home and said all our friends are asking are we going to do it, and so I just said you know what? Let's pray," Courtney said.

They didn't hold the drive at their house this year, but at the FPD Christmas tree lighting. They had a Uhaul for people to fill up with toys.

"It's been fun to watch them come together with all of their friends and really make a difference, and I think they've learned that they're not too little to make a difference, that it could change Christmas morning for families that live right near us," Courtney said.

"It feels just as good as waking up on Christmas morning, because I mean I love to get gifts, but to give them back is just awesome," Chandler said.

The Cawley family gave the toys to the Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia.