Kayla and Mara Winfrey have outdone themselves in their quest to make youngsters happy at Christmastime.
The sisters held their 19th annual hot chocolate fundraiser on Friday, Dec. 16. They said they have topped the previous year’s total donations every year since they raised $50 the first year, when they were aged 4 and 2 respectively.
Last year they raised $5,000 and were hoping to break that record. They more than doubled it, bringing in $11,000.
In an email message to supporters, the sisters expressed gratitude for the community’s generosity.
“Our hearts are overloaded with happiness right now,” they wrote. “We can’t describe how grateful we are to have such supportive friends and family, and to live in a community that has supported us throughout the years. So many children will have a special Christmas because of your kindness.”
Until recent years, the Winfreys purchased the toys themselves, then delivered them to a Toys for Tots drop-off location. Now, they go shopping with a Marine, who takes care of delivering the toys to the program.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the nationwide Toys for Tots program.
In addition to cups of hot chocolate, decorated Christmas cookies were available for anyone who stopped by to donate. The cookies are provided every year by the sisters’ former art teacher at Willow School, Karen Schillings.