Boys and Girls Clubs of York County aid United Way

dworthington@heraldonline.comDecember 1, 2012 

  • Want to help? Donate new, unwrapped toys • United Way of York County office, 226 Northpark Drive, Suite 100, Rock Hill • All York County YMCA branches in Clover, Fort Mill, Rock Hill and York • WRHI/Interstate 107 radio studios, 142 N. Confederate Ave., Rock Hill Donate money, skip the shopping • Make a tax-deductible contribution online at unitedwayofyc.org • Checks – made out to The Herald’s “Empty Stocking Fund” or “Toys for Happiness” – can be mailed to the United Way of York County S.C., P.O. Box 925, Rock Hill, SC, 29731. • Drop off monetary contributions at the United Way office, 226 Northpark Drive, Suite 100, Rock Hill, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. More information • Call 803-324-2735.

During the holidays, making a list and checking it twice has become second nature – especially when it involves toys.

The teens at the Boys and Girls Clubs of York County recently learned it’s not as easy at it sounds.

Being Santa’s helpers involves teamwork, hard work and even typing skills, as well as double-checking the list once again.

The teen volunteers helped the United Way and its partner organizations in the Sleigh Bell Network unload large trucks full of donations. They sorted the donations and created an online inventory.

The work continues as donations are dropped off. On Friday, they unloaded bicycles.

The opportunity is the result of a scheduling conflict. The Boys and Girls Clubs uses the gym at the Flexible Learning Center in Rock Hill. The United Way also uses space at the center during the holidays.

The scheduling conflict became an opportunity for the teens to “give back to the community and learn job-related skills,” said David Carriker, chief professional officer for the Boys and Girls Clubs.

The teens took donations received after Christmas last year and combined them with new donations.

They created their own assembly line to sort the donations by type and then created an online inventory that includes not only the quantity, but the ages and gender the donations were suitable for.

“It was confusion, crowded and there were lots of toys,” teen Andrew Brabham said. “You see all the toys, and this make you feel good.”

“It showed me how a real job feels,” teen Michael Dorman said.

“We learned how to be friends,” teen Jay Massey said.

Debbie Hayworth, president of the United Way of York County, said the work produced a complete pre-season toy inventory for the first time.

“It put us in good position to do some thoughtful planning on our purchases for the holidays,” she said. “It’s amazing. I know what I don’t need to order.”

Hayworth estimates that in just 48 hours, the teens accomplished what it took others to do in four days.

“We are so far ahead of previous years,” she said. “It brought tears to my eyes.”

Don Worthington 803-329-4066

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