Kiddos launch toy drive

Chad Frey
The children of Cassandra Prettyman,  Annalyn (2) and P.J. (6), add to a toy drive of their creation Wednesday in Newton. Toys the family did not give away Wednesday will be donated to Heartland Pregnancy Center.

Cassandra Prettyman found herself in the position of many a parent — looking at the cluttered bedroom of her children and pleading with them to get it cleaned up.

She didn’t have to pull out that worn out threat of many a parent — giving toys away to kids who need or appreciate them — to get the job done.

Her six-year-old P.J. came up with that on his own.

“They have too many toys because they share a room,” Prettyman said. “We only have a two bedroom house.”

That house in the 700 block of Eighth St. in Newton is shared among two adults and three children.

As a result, a small toy drive was born. P.J., his two-year old sister Annalyn and the five-month old baby all donated to the cause. Plastic tubs were filled, and post put in the family driveway in the 700 block of West Eighth.

“He came up with the idea of ’Mom, why don’t we give these toys away to families that need them, because I have too many toys,’” Prettyman said.

After posting to a social media site that the toys were available, others caught the holiday spirit. Donations of toys made their way to the family driveway.

And, of course, those who needed toys started coming by.

“I had a lady come from Wichita to get a Pooh Bear. She’s gone to college, money is tight to get anything,” Prettyman said. “She drove 30 minutes to get that.”

Those things still around at the conclusion of the Toy Drive/giveaway wil be donated to Heartland Pregnancy Center of Newton.

“That is an organization that has helped us since COVID hit,” Prettyman said. “I attend there once a week. If it had not been for them, I could not survive with diapers and wipes. We want to give back to the community.”

T.J., Annalyn and little brother Daniel will be OK for Christmas as well — one person who heard about the toy drive showed up with gift cards for them.

“She saw what they were doing,” Prettyman said.