Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive 2020

The Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive 2020 Leaders Go the Extra Mile
Posted on 01/27/2021
This is the image for the news article titled The Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive 2020 Leaders Go the Extra MileAt their January 2021 meeting, the Brazosport ISD Board of Trustees recognized the contributions of five outstanding community volunteers serving with the 16th Annual Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive. The Board honored Josie LaChance, Kara Weathers, Amanda Moen, Lindsey Woodfill, and Brittany Figaro by presenting them with the BISD Extra Mile Award.BISD created the “Extra Mile” Award several years ago to recognize individuals or groups for their dedication to students and their willingness to go the Extra Mile for BISD.

The Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive originated in 2004 when Natalie, a Brazoswood graduate, began collecting toys in conjunction with the beauty pageant during the Lake Jackson Festival of Lights.  Natalie’s goal was to bring joy to the deserving children of Brazoria County during the Christmas Season.  Natalie tragically passed away and the pageant contestants each year chose to carry on the toy drive in her memory.  After the pageant came to an end in 2011, a group of Natalie’s friends decided to continue the tradition. They are now a non-profit organization that hosts an annual Toy Drive in memory of their friend.

This year, with the ongoing pandemic, the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive looked quite a bit different than in years past. Rather than cancelling the fundraising event altogether, the committee decided to think outside the box to find a way to still be able to raise funds to help make the holiday brighter for families in Brazoria County.

On December 5, 2020 the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive hosted its first golf tournament. This allowed the group to raise funds and generously donate $20,500 to the Brazosport ISD Education Foundation to be used to provide Christmas gifts to students enrolled in BISD. Additionally, the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive contributed $5000 to the BISD Nutrition’s 3rd Annual Pancakes with Santa event which provided a breakfast to-go as well as gifts for our students in need. As a result of the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive donations, gifts and clothing items were purchased for more than 250 students in BISD.

Although many volunteers and generous community members have volunteered and have supported the mission of the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive, these individuals have truly gone above and beyond for our students.

Josie LaChance, one of Natalie’s high school friends and founder of the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive non-profit for continuing to think of ways to impact our community even when faced with the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Kara Weathers has been described as the “heart” of the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive. She coordinates and plans for all of the team’s meetings, follows up with all sponsors of the event, and organizes the auction items.

Amanda Moen was able to take the toy drive to a new level this year with her great ideas. One such idea was the ball drop raffle. Amanda runs the Toy Drive’s website and does the marketing and designs as well.

Lindsey Woodfill is an original Toy Drive volunteer. She has been with the Toy Drive every year since the beginning. She not only volunteers her time, she also sponsors the Toy Drive and gathers auction items. Lindsey’s entire family plays a role in the Toy Drive’s success.

And last, but not least, Brittany Figaro arranged and graciously met with each of the BISD campuses for their chosen shopping times at Wal-Mart during the busy holiday shopping season.

BISD and the Board of Trustees is grateful for the continued dedication of these wonderful volunteers, and appreciates all of the volunteers and community members that have supported the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive throughout the years. Thank you all for going the extra mile for our students.


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