Thursday, October 11, 2012
Many children are already thinking about the Christmas gifts they would like to see under the tree this December. Signal Mountain home-schooler Turner Bryant is asking local children to consider those less fortunate as they begin to draw up their list for Mr. Claus.
“Most kids up here have everything they need, or more,” she said. “People don’t realize that other children not getting gifts deserve it just as much.”
For the past four years, the 14-year-old has been donating two-thirds of her own Christmas gifts to underprivileged children. Her father came up with the idea to donate all Turner’s gifts, but in order to maintain the tradition of opening gifts Christmas morning, they decided to compromise by donating two-thirds of her presents.
“I wanted to expand the idea,” said Turner. “[The idea is] not only to donate gifts, but to take out some of their Christmas to give to others.”
Starting this month, she is collecting gift donations for children and teenagers at Signal Mountain businesses including Mountain Top Toys, Accents and Sports Zone. She will pick up her collection boxes from the stores just before Christmas, and the gifts will be distributed to families on Signal Mountain by Signal Mountain Social Services.
She said donating a portion of her own gifts has always given her a sense of fulfillment, as opposed to feeling like a sacrifice.
“It’s fun to pick out things for another girl your age,” said Turner, adding that gifts for teenagers are especially needed, as young children are often the focus of most holiday gift drives.
She said the gift drive is intended not only to benefit local families, but also to encourage people to purchase gifts at the Signal Mountain businesses where her collection boxes are located.