Local nonprofit Circle of Advancement collected hundreds of toys this holiday season, and co-founder Silken Solomon said some of these will be sent to children in Kentucky who are still recovering from the recent tornado outbreak.


   Solomon told WBHF the toy drive is typically a larger event, but the last two years have prompted some changes.


   “Prior to COVID, the toy drive was a mixture event with a charitable element of also donating toys that would be distributed to families in the Bartow County community,” she said. “This year […], we boiled it down just to distributing and collecting toys.”


   The toy drive has received support from the community, with organizations setting up donation boxes and directly donating to the cause. 


   “We’ve helped about 25 families, and we’ve collected approximately 400 toys. We’re going to be sending another hundred to the families that were affected by the tornadoes in Kentucky,” Solomon explained. “We’re excited to be able to help those people this Christmas.”


   CoA member Todd Dean made contact with pastor Carlos Calhoun, who will help send the toys to their intended destination. 


   Circle of Advancement will hold various events like their annual backpack drive in the new year. Solomon encouraged families in need of toys or school supplies to contact the organization at (678) 777-7718.