Coordinator - Wilbur Cunningham – Jerseyville, IL
Richie Cullen is a 21-year-old Autistic youth that has donated toys to our local Toys for Tots campaign since 2008 at the age of 10, each year for the past 11 years. Richie collects aluminum cans, scrap metal, donates his birthday money gifts, opened a vegetable stand and selling the produce he grew in his garden. When he was 14 years old, he sold his swing set, because he was "too old for it, and Toys for Tots can use the toys.” He used the money to purchase toys which he donates to the Campaign, and the first year, we talked with the local Walmart Store Manager who agreed to match Richie's donation 100% for three years. During those three years Richie purchased $2,500 in toys, and with Walmart's matching resulted in $5,000 worth of toys being donated to the Campaign. Richie has continued this practice each year donating no less than $1,000 in toys each year. Unfortunately, Walmart withdrew their 100% match in the third year but replaces it with a very generous Community Action Grant each Campaign year. To-date I estimated that Richie has been responsible for the donation of $10,500 in direct toy donations to the Campaign. When you factor in the annual Walmart Grant, this figure become $18,500 in donated toys. Richie is a wonderful young man and we are honored to have him support our local campaign in making sure the children in his community do not go without a gift Christmas.