Taylor Davis, Paisley and Emmett Brewer

Taylor Davis (center) purchased more than 300 toys for needy children to teach her niece Paisley (right) the importance of giving. Emmett Brewer (left) donated his piggy bank money to buy additional toys.

MANSFIELD -- As a little girl, Taylor Davis learned the joy of giving back from her grandmothers. Every year, they would take her and her sister to a department store, where each girl would pick out a toy to donate to a child in need.

Now Davis is determined to pass the same lesson on to her niece Paisley.

“Last year after Christmas, I decided I wanted to show my niece what it was like to give back. So I decided to buy toys and teach her that way,” Davis said. “Every time they were on sale, I would go out and buy them.”

She’s purchased over 300 toys over the course of 2021. The toys will be given away during the Project One/ARC Empowerment Center’s “Deck the Halls with Children’s Laughter” toy drive.

Davis purchased most of the toys with her own money, although her coworkers at GB Manufacturing and Fabrication chipped in some when they heard about the project.

Davis also got a donation from a stranger she met while shopping.

“Taylor had Paisley at the dollar store and they were buying the dolls,” Davis’ mother Tammy recalled. “Paisley was throwing a fit for a toy. And Taylor told Paisley ‘No, you know these toys aren't for you. They're for other kids that don't have as much as you do.'

“This older lady heard Taylor telling Paisley that and she took $40 out of her purse and gave it to Taylor for toys.”

Despite being just 2 years old, Davis and her mother believe Paisley is already learning about the spirit of giving. She knows the toys, which were stacked up to the windows in Davis’ basement, are off limits.

Next year, Davis plans to find a storage building. She hopes to acquire even more toys.

“Her sister is a single mom and she has watched her sister in the daily struggles, helping her sister with Paisley,” Tammy said. “She wanted Paisley to see how it was to give and she wants to support single moms too.”

When Paisley’s friend, 5-year-old Emmett Brewer, heard about the drive, he emptied his piggy bank and gave Davis the money to purchase toys. Sutton Bank, Bo Lacey, Park National Bank, Storyside Church and Paradise Church have also made donations to the ARC’s Toy Drive.

The drive will take place Dec. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. It’s open to children ages one to ten, but parents must reserve a spot by filling out an application with the child’s name, age and gender.

Applications are available for pick up and drop off on the west side of the ARC building, located at 378 Park Avenue West. They are due Dec. 1.

ARC application bin.jpg

Applications for the Deck the Halls with Children's Laughter toy drive can be dropped off at the ARC Empowerment Center.

Children are required to be present in order to collect the toys. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served during the event.

“Underprivileged kids need to be able to have Christmas, even if maybe their parents aren't able to give them Christmas,” said Pam Hargett, a board member with Project One. “That's next generation coming up. They are the future of this world.”

Donations of new toys and children’s books will be accepted up until the event. Volunteers are also needed. For more information, call 567-241-6781 or email anicholsprojectone@gmail.com.

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie@richlandsource.com