South Bay teen collects hundreds of toys for kids, hits new personal record

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In the South Bay, a teenager is on a mission to bring smiles to the faces of other kids he's never even met.

Joey Childs has collected thousands of donations for Toys for Tots since 2012, but this winter, he hit a new personal record.

"You just got to keep working harder and harder, and reaching out to more places," says Childs. "That's how this is possible."

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Joey Childs, 13, has been collecting donations for Toys for Tots for seven years and last year he donated over 1,000 toys.

ABC7 News stopped by the Toys for Tots drop-off and distribution site for Santa Clara County, as Childs and his team of helpers delivered 1,558 toys Friday afternoon.

"There's wonderful support with the family and his friends from school," said Joey's mother, Cheri Childs. "These boys come out and really help Joey bring this all together."

Local Toys for Tots organizers with the U.S. Marine Corps are grateful for the support of Childs and other volunteers like him.

"It speaks volumes to who he is, and to his family, and what they stand for," said SSgt. Jyher Lazaare, Toys for Toys coordinator. "We're very appreciative."

Groups and non-profit organizations that came by Friday to pick up their allotment shared their praise for Childs and the people in the community who made a donation.

"Without them and the people who give, we wouldn't be able to do this," said Santa Cruz resident Mary Drew, who volunteers with the Vaishnava Sava Society. "Kids get toys because of them, because of all of the people in the community that donate, so it's wonderful."

Toys for Tots expects to give out 65,000 toys to more than 350 groups in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties this year.

"When you see these children receiving these toys, the happiness, the smile on their face, it's really going to change your life actually, it really changed me," said Peter Ubaldo, pastor at Mission Harvest Christian Church in Milpitas.

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Childs is accepting donations year-round and plans on keeping his toy drive tradition alive for years to come.

"It's been just absolutely amazing," said Childs. "They care about their community-- they care about everyone else."
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