Toy driveMUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (12/14/19) — The Wallace Slinker family decided they wanted to help the less fortunate children of Muhlenberg County as they gathered around their Thanksgiving table five years ago.

Their first toy drive helped approximately 12 families provide Christmas for their children, and this year's list has grown to include approximately 30 children. 

The Slinkers felt the need to help kids that are not getting assistance elsewhere. 

"When you learn that these kids are asking for a pillow, a sheet and warm blanket, or even a mattress to sleep on, it just breaks our hearts," Vicki Slinker said. "The three that asked for mattresses, you know those kids are sleeping wherever they can find."  

Slinker continued emotionally, "They need a bed! Some of them are asking for clothes and shoes, not one toy, just what each of us consider the basics."

Sabrina Slinker Scott said the family has participated in various Angel Tree programs in the past to find that needs had already been addressed by other organizations.

"We knew there was a kid out there that didn't get anything," she said.

Auction items are being donated from as far away as New Hampshire and Indiana, the family explained. Funds raised by the auction are then used to provide Christmas to some of the families in Muhlenberg County. Current auction items include: Nasvhille Predators hockey tickets, sporting weekend getaways and one weekend trip to Wyndham Hotels either for Gatlinburg or Nashville, to name a few.

"We've found out that people respond better if they are getting something that then benefits others at the same time," Slinker said. "It's a win-win if you get an auction item, but you are also helping get toys for a child then, it's just good."

While it's exciting to think about bidding and perhaps winning an auction item, the aspect of children doing without at Christmastime has turned into a passion for the Slinker family, who farms thousands of acres across Henderson, Christian and Muhlenberg counties. They also own and operate On Main in Downtown Greenville, where donations and auction items are being gathered for distribution. 

Scott recalled a home where they delivered items that had one kerosene heater, with rooms separated by sheets. The children were hiding behind the sheet and couldn't understand why all the food and presents were there, asking if Santa was coming back to take their presents, because they'd never before received gifts.

More information about the auction is available on the 5th Annual Double S Farms Toy Drive Facebook page.

Kathrine Newman Timmons

SurfKY News Reporter

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