4th Annual Weston Cosey Memorial Toy Drive kicks off Sunday

Published 2:48 pm Monday, May 22, 2023

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By Angela Cutrer
Star Correspondent
It’s once again time for the family and friends of Weston Cosey to invite the public to a get-together. The family hopes supporters will bring a toy Sunday, May 28, after church and then enjoy the rest of the afternoon with them, all in the name of a child gone too soon.
Springtime brings thoughts of renewal and possibilities. But when someone you love has passed away, the hope of spring is not enough to lessen the sense of loss. Especially when that person’s birthday comes around.
But instead of focusing on the tragic loss, the family of Weston Cosey, who would have turned 10 on May 23, works hard throughout the year – and especially in the spring – to gather toys for other children whose families need a helping hand.
“Holidays are hard when you’ve lost someone, especially tragically,” Weston’s grandmother, Tammy Allen, said of the 4th Annual Weston Cosey Memorial Toy Drive kick-off this coming Sunday. The toy drive is held near the birthday of Weston, who was born on a May 23, and whose name fronts the event.
“We are just like any other family and we grieve. But this toy drive keeps us occupied. We take donations and put them into storage until the holiday season. That way, we can give back to the community that has supported us.”
The toy drive is held at this time so as not to butt up against other families’ attempt to purchase toys for their own children for Christmas. To facilitate this event, family members and volunteers collect donations throughout the year, and especially during the week of Weston’s birthday.
The toy drive means more than 200 children are given toys at Christmas time in Weston’s memory, Allen said. The family asks for toy donations, suggesting clearance and sale items to make the dollar go further. The toys can be brought Sunday, May 28, as donations and families who attend can then enjoy all the special events the family and friends have created for the special day.
Harmony Free Will Baptist Church provides food for the donors, a bouncy house is inflated to provide the children a hopping good time and face painting and other activities are sure to keep the audience occupied.
“We hope people will come, donate a toy and then have some fun,” Allen said. “This is our way to honor Weston and we enjoy sharing the time with the public.”
Allen said the event is a way for everyone to come together to remember Weston and to help out local children. Weston’s two brothers help give out toys at Christmas time and the entire production helps to instill values and empathy for others, Allen added.
“It’s one day, from 2-8 p.m., where we can give back to the community, and it helps us deal with the loss,” she said.
Cosey’s parents are Heather Allen and Joe Cosey.
Harmony Free Will Baptist Church is located at 3405 Gap Creek Road in Hampton. Call (423) 297-4504 or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1621001998405512 for more information.

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