When kids think of the holidays, they think of toys, toys, and more toys. Unfortunately, many Michiana families can't afford to buy even one present for their children.
A Fighting Irish basketball player tells us Toys for Tots can really make a child's Christmas special and leave a lasting impression.
Many of us don't know what it's like to wait and wonder, "Will I get any presents for Christmas, even something small." Then, many do know what it's like.
19 year-old Tory Jackson, Notre Dame’s starting point guard says there were many years he wondered.
He explains why it's so important for people to remember this is not just the season of getting gifts, but giving gifts.
When it's game time, it's game time--time to focus on a big win.
But, Jacskon admits there was a brief moment, minutes before the clock started in the game against Eastern Michigan when his mind wandered years back.
H says, “I was thinking about my past and how happy I was.”
He was happy because he watched fan after fan walk into the Joyce Center with toys in hand for the Toys for Tots drive.
Jackson says, “It's just a big thing out there especially for the kids that aren't able to have the big toys they see on television.”
Tory was one of those kids who was happy to get any toy given to him at Christmas. He grew up in a family of 14 children.
He says, “There were a couple of years in a row we actually needed things like this just for us to have an opportunity to be happy on Christmas.”
As he looks through some of the toys donated, he smiles and remembers how a basketball wasn't even on his wish list, but his siblings wanted one.
He says, “I used to kind of hate it when I was little, but they forced me to like it. Now, I love it.”
It's a no brainer now that a basketball is a must have for Tory and we know that his hero is his coach. Well, maybe…
About 15 year's ago it was an entirely different story. He would've done anything to have a superman toy, red cape and all. Superman was his hero.
He says, “I've got to get over that now. Superman was my boy.”
Tory still remembers the day the toy was delivered to him.
He says, “I was like so excited and if I could see that person in this world I would just tell them that I love them.”
Tory says every year he looks forward to seeing kids show that same excitement he did when they get their favorite toy.
He also says thank you to everyone in Michiana who's in the spirit of giving to people in need this holiday.
Tory, his teammates, and coaches will be here at the WNDU delivering toys during 16 News Saturday morning.
You can also drop off your toys at WNDU studios from 7 to 10 Saturday morning. We'll also be collecting them at Concord Mall in Elkhart, Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor, and Lake City Bank in downtown Warsaw.