(WJHL) – The season for toy drives is here and one special drive is one month from conclusion.
The 4th annual Avery Armstrong Toy Drive has been going on since October 1 and will wrap up on Friday, December 8. Avery Armstrong is a 10 year old 5th grader at Chuckey Elementary School who is a cancer survivor who started this toy drive to help out children who are stuck in the hospital, especially during the holidays.
“I think that kids in the hospital need something to do because I know I’ve been in the hospital and you are just basically sitting around and they need something to do, so that’s why I started this,” Armstrong said. “We’ll take them to the hospitals, we’ll get in an open area and we’ll bring them in. We don’t actually get to hand them out to the kids, but the nurses will.”
Avery was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when he was 4 years old and was taken to St. Jude in Memphis in very critical condition, spending 3 months in there. He then came home and did two years and seven months of chemo treatments at Niswonger/JCMC St. Jude Affiliate. He is now in remission.
“We never heard him complain throughout the whole 2 years and 7 months, he never complained,”, Avery’s Father Jason Armstrong said, “Four years ago, he wanted to start a toy drive to give back to local hospitals that have helped him tremendously through this ordeal.”
The toys collected will be distributed at Laughlin Hospital, Takoma Hospital, Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Tri-Citeis St. Jude affiliate and Shriners Affiliate.
“We started this toy drive four years ago expecting a small turnout. The first year we got close to 1,000 toys. we delivered those to local hospitals, last year, he collected 2,700 toys,”, Jason Armstrong added, “It’s just a wonderful ministry that he has started, and we’re just hoping we can continue this mission that he has got to give back because they have given us so much and so much hope.”
“He counts every toy, he puts a label with Team Avery on it that talks about the past toy drives and what is going on so people can ciommunicate if they want to when they get a toy. And he deivers and every aspect, he is involved with.”, Avery’s Grandmother Teresa Taylor said.
There is still plenty of time to donate a new, unopened toy for this toy drive, there are 27 different drop off locations around Greeneville, Johmson City, Jonesborough and Kingsport. You can also visit the “Team Avery” page on Facebook.Drop off points:
Greeneville/Greene Co.: WJ Scents, Peggy Anne Bakery, Gosnells Stereo and Music, Burlap Bunny, Radio Shack, Heritage Community Bank (3 locations), Greene Co. Clerks Office, Greene Co. 911, Doak Elem. School, Chuckey Elem. School, Ottway Elem. SChool, Esther and Ella, Pops Market and Grill, Rheatown Store, Tusculum Baptist Church, Century 21 Legacy, Country Corner Restaurant, Ace Hardware.
Johnson City: Champion Chevrolet, Monkees, Century 21 Legacy
Jonesborough: Old Towne Dairy Bar
Kingsport.: Century 21 Legacy