MOULTRIE -- When a stranger gives a child a Christmas toy out of kindness that act can inspire a legacy of love.

Moultrie Technical College's SKILLS USA/VICA student organization has taken up the M. Shane Willis Annual Toy Drive, once the project of the disbanded drafting club at the college.

This year, the SKILLS club has decided to collect toys for not only the Cheer and Toy Shop but also the pediatric wing at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. The pediatric wing gets quite a few donations for hospitalized children, but it is in particular need of toys and games that can be enjoyed from the confines of a hospital bed, drive organizer A.J. Clayton said.

Two weeks ago, the club took on the project and members are scrambling to make up for lost time, Clayton said. Already, collection boxes have been placed outside MTC classrooms and are continuing to collect during MTC's student activity day Nov. 25.

Two other MTC student organizations, Phi Beta Lambda for business and office technology students and Delta Epsilon Chi for marketing students, are continuing their traditions of collecting coats and food for needy families during activity day as well. College officials are asking the public to support the annual drives by bringing to the campus coats in good repair and nonperishable foods.

"They take so much pride in giving to the food bank and trying to see if they can surpass what they did they year before. It's just great for the students to be giving back to the community," MTC Director of Marketing Kim Rutland said.

The SKILLS club also has coordinated with Wal-Mart to collect cash and toy donations at the store Dec. 6 and with a local Christian motorcycle club, Warriors for the Cross, during its toy run through several area cities on Dec. 13. That Saturday, the MTC club will collect toys at the college campus on Veterans Parkway, supplying hot dogs and drinks for riders and contributors, Clayton said.

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