Locals knock toy drive 'out of the park'

Michele Henke, executive director of United Way of South
Central Nebraska, and Melissa Worthing, UW community
coordinator, pose Friday in the Hastings Area Chamber board
room with the table-load of donated toys — including more
than 100 last-minute arrivals — that will be distributed
Monday to children through the Toys for Tots program
sponsored by the United States Marine Corps.

The power of social media has helped bring out the best in people who stepped up to bail out the local Toys for Tots campaign at the United Way of South Central Nebraska with some timely last-minute donations.

Michele Henke, executive director of the local United Way chapter, learned that the toys received Wednesday at the UW office in Omaha for the U.S. Marine-led toy drive had been delivered to its Grand Island office by mistake. Worse still, the order received was 164 toys short of filling the requests of those seeking assistance from the UW and its 19 affiliates in Adams, Clay, Nuckolls, and Clay counties.

"I panicked at first because I thought, 'I can't let 164 children not have a toy,' " Henke said. "So we scrambled.

To read more, see Saturday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>>

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