MOUNT VERNON — Chloe Crawford donated $500 worth of toys to Knox County Toys for Tots in 2013. Crawford, a student at Twin Oak Elementary School, has been donating her hard-earned money since she was in second grade.
“Knox County Toys for Tots assisted 1,290 children, averaging two toys per child. Chloe’s generosity greatly impacted the toy drive. Her donations alone brought in 57 toys,” said Kelly Shira of the Mount Vernon Fire Department.
“Essentially she provided Christmas to 28 children.”
Chloe’s mom, Crystal Hook, said that Chloe first noticed the Toys for Tots collection box while shopping at Wal-Mart a few years ago.
“Three years ago I saw the place where you put the toys in the box and I decided that it would be nice to donate the toys and my mom was like ‘OK’ ... she thought it was just surprising,” said Chloe.
“She saw the box and asked what it was, and after I explained it to her, she asked if she could use the money that she saved to buy toys for Toys for Tots, so I told her if that’s what you want to do with your money, that’s a great idea, it’s very sweet,” said Hook. “Especially to a little kid, that’s a lot of money to just give to someone else. That trend has continued.”
Hook said that her daughter began saving money by earning good grades on tests. Every time Chloe would receive a 100 percent on a spelling test her grandmother would give her some money, which amounted to $40 worth of toys the first year she donated to Toys for Tots.
“We spent $10 on a toy for a girl, $10 on a toy for a boy, $10 on a toy for a baby and she got to pick out something for herself,” said Hook.
“We still continue that every year, she gets to pick out one toy for herself at the end of it, I guess as a kind of a reward for doing something so nice,” said Hook.
Hook added that in the past year both her parents and Hook have set aside a change jar to collect spare change throughout the whole year for Chloe’s efforts to donate to Toys for Tots.
“I think in the end we also pitched in some cash from our own pocket, but in the end we had about $150 to spend,” at the end of the year in 2012, said Hook. After posting a few photos of what Chloe was doing to her (Hook’s) Facebook page, Hook said that in 2013 the family got the idea to “reach out” to friends and family on Facebook for additional donations.
“The response was pretty overwhelming. I want to say it was 16 or 17 people who ended up sending Chloe money. We made sure to let them know it was her thing, not ours ... we were just putting it out there. We still saved change over the year, and when it was all said and done we had just under $500 to go buy presents,” said Hook.
“Now this year our goal is to get $800,” said Chloe. Chloe has been presented with an award and additional goodies like chocolate and a few key chains she has adorned her backpack with.
This morning she was escorted to school at Twin Oak Elementary school in a Mount Vernon Fire Department fire truck for recognition.
In addition, Chloe said she has been informed that she has been nominated for a Youth Hero Award at the Red Cross’ 12th Annual Heroes Awards Breakfast that will take place on March 4, at Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene.
“Her act of humanitarianism has won the hearts of all of us at MVFD ... she is truly an amazing girl,” said Shira.
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