INWOOD, W.Va. -- About three dozen children, including 10 from a family of 16 children, left the cafeteria at St. Leo's Catholic Church Tuesday night laden with Christmas spirit in the form of bicycles, Zhu Zhu pets, Nintendo games and other popular toys of the season.
Every year, Mike Powers and Mike McBrearty, longtime Inwood-area buddies, organize fundraisers to make money for their annual Toys for Kids giveaway. This year, they raised more than $5,000, which Dawn Brown, McBrearty's fiancee, spent in area big-box stores buying the presents that were handed out Tuesday.
According to McBrearty, about 36 children, all selected by local school guidance counselors, showed up for the toy-distribution party.
"We had twice as many as last year," he said, noting the recession adds more needy children every year.
"We had more families than we could take care of this year," Powers said.
"We'll start earlier next year and have more fundraisers," McBrearty said.