Curves holds toy drive

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 25, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20: 35)

On Wednesday, Dec. 20, Curves staff members gave and gave and gave. Throughout the month of December, Curves held a toy drive and it received overwhelming support.

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“Our goal was 100 toys,” Leon Shepherd, Curves co-owner, said. “We got just over 100.”

Shepherd, and co-owner Camella Hollaway, circuit coach Amber Mills and Hollaway’s three-year-old daughter Trinity all loaded the toys into one vehicle and made their first stop at Selma Pediatrics on Medical Center Parkway.

The waiting room was filled with children and parents waiting to see the doctor. As soon as the gifts started to go around the room, spirits were lifted and solemn faces were replaced with smiling ones.

Hollaway allowed her daughter Trinity to distribute gifts so that she could “learn to give, not just receive.”

Trinity made a pretty good elf.

She distributed gifts to other children with a “Merry Christmas” and turned to her mother with her hand outstretched.

“Give me one,” she said to her mother so she could keep her giving momentum going.

The second stop was Vaughan Regional Medical Center’s Pediatric Ward.

With the help of a staff member, Trinity and Mills strolled down the hallway going to the door of every sick child’s room delivering gifts and smiles, while Shepard and Hollaway were left holding the bags sorting through toys labeled by age group and gender.

Little India Jackson, 4, was on the receiving end of a prettily wrapped gold box. Sitting in her little hospital gown, with her mother by her bedside, the gift brings a smile to her face.

A good bit of the giftwrapping was thanks to Shirley Hollaway, a Curves member, who volunteered to wrap toys.

“It was a blessing that we had her because I don’t wrap and I don’t think Camella wraps,” Shepherd said.

Next, the team moved on to the Dallas County Health Department where there were only a few children, but nonetheless, gifts brought smiles – even in the parking lot.

Little Marshay Bryant just happened to be in the parking lot as the team was pulling out, and she too received a gift.

There were still some gifts left, so the team loaded up again and headed to Little Kids Child Development on Old Orrville Road.

“Presents!” one little boy screamed as the Curves team entered the playground. The children came rushing over from the slide and sandbox.


I think it’s cake,” one little girl said of her rectangular shaped gift box.

There were “ooh’s,” “wow’s,” and “look what I got’s,” circulating among the tiny crowd.

Hollaway expressed that Christmas has gotten to be a selfish holiday for some, and Curves wanted to redirect their focus.

“Jesus is the reason for the season and we wanted to put the focus on giving,” she said.

And giving they did. While some of the toys came from non-Curve members, most of them were donated by members of the gym.

Some really went to the giving extreme.

Linda Ferrell donated 25 toys to the drive, Caroline Sexton, 15, Marie Middlebrooks 15 and one member did not buy toys, but gave two monetary donations. The anonymous member’s donations totaled $150.

Both Shepherd and Hollaway were very pleased and proud of the support the drive received.

Shepard said they just wanted “to bring some good into people’s lives.”

Hollaway said, “If they have Jesus Christ, they have the greatest gift of all.”