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‘Tis the season to give

by Minden Press-Herald

Landen Knotts makes big donation to local toy drive

Any kid would love to have a hundred dollars to spend. When Landen Knotts won such a sum, he knew exactly what do with it.

“We’re blessed, and it’s our job to bless others,” he said.

Knotts, 10, won a hundred dollars from Glenbrook School as a prize for selling the most Disney raffle tickets. Even before he won, he decided he would use the money to buy toys for those less fortunate. His mother, Haley Knotts, stepped in to help her compassionate son.

“It’s heartwarming to have a kid that wants to give back,” she said. “He always wants to give back. I knew that $100 wasn’t going to go very far. Once he put eight toys in the cart and realized that wasn’t very many, I just said well, let’s fill the buggy up, and that’s what we did.”

After asking on Facebook to find a suitable place for the toys, Haley Knotts found out about the For the Kids Toy Drive. Entering its 19th Christmas, the For the Kids drive delivers gifts to children in hospitals on Christmas Eve.

“I just want them to know that we’re glad they got these toys, and if they have a chance to give to others, they should take the chance,” Landen Knotts said. “Maybe it’ll keep going like that until everyone is happy.”

The For the Kids Toy Drive is run by Byron Cage of Minden. He said the drive fills a unique niche among the needs of those in north Louisiana.

“It goes to kids that are stuck in the hospital on Christmas morning, those who can’t go home,” Cage said. “The ones who got missed, who came in too late to get caught by Toys for Tots, for example. We fill a hole that no one else does.”

Cage said he started the For the Kids drive because he grew up with a heart condition and knows the struggle of being hospitalized as a child. Since its inception, the drive has grown to service most of north Louisiana.

“Last year was our best year,” he said. “We start at Minden of course, then we go from Minden to Shreveport, and then we just go all the way across I-20. We did not get back home from delivering toys last year until nearly 4 on Christmas morning.”

Toy donations are still being accepted through Friday, December 22. This year’s drop-off locations for toys include the City on a Hill Pentecostal Church and Learning Center, the Brown Chrysler Dodge dealership, Sunderland Chiropractic, Geaux Fresh, and Harper Motors.

“Even if you don’t have the resources to make a significant donation, you can tell those who do,” Cage said. “You can organize the giving. A dripping faucet doesn’t mean much until a cup is put under it. Even if you don’t have the water, you can be the cup.”

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