WOOSTER, Ohio — It might seem like a lofty goal to hope that giving a child a toy tractor would encourage them to consider a career in agriculture. But that’s exactly why Bailey Morrell helped organize an Ag Toy Drive with the Ashland/Wayne Young Ag Professionals and Medina County Young Farmers.
“If you think back to the toys that you loved as a child, you never know which ones may have an impact,” Morrell said.
This was the group’s third annual Ag Toy Drive. Morrell brought the idea with her when she moved to Ohio from Iowa in 2017. She said it was a way to bring members together while promoting agriculture and offering something to the community.
The group hit their $4,000 Ag Toy Drive target before the actual event Nov. 21. By the end of the night, they had raised $5,000 in cash and toys for Ashland’s Associated Charities in Ashland and Wayne and Medina Toys for Tots.
Local businesses helped sponsor the drive, many of them making donations in advance. Community members and sponsors brought more toys to the event.
The first year, the drive raised about $1,500, according to Lindsay Shoup, one of the event organizers. The second year more than doubled at about $3,500. This year was a new record.
Some people donated toys, while others donated money. The group will shop for more toys with monetary donations at Rural King. Shoup said Rural King offers the group a 15% discount and extra donations in gift cards.
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