Persons of the Week 12/14: Brian & Doris Toronyi, FATE

A couple in Grand Rapids is making sure that hundreds of disadvantaged kids have something under the tree on Christmas morning.

Since 2010, Doris and Brian Toronyi have been collecting and recycling “old” toys to give them a new life. They’ve dubbed the initiative “FATE”, which stands for “Fun Again Toys for Everyone.”

“There’s a lot of life left in the toys and we just want to make sure they’re getting out there and getting played with again,” explained Doris. “Seeing that toy get played with again by a different child is just really cool.”

The couple started with toys that their sons outgrew. They didn’t want to give them away to a thrift store to be re-sold, or just throw them away. After advertising their efforts on Facebook, donations began to pour in. Since that first year, thousands of toys have been collected and given away.

The Toronyi’s post an ad on Craigslist to determine who to help, before beginning the effort again every holiday season. This year, the toy giveaway will be held in Kentwood, using donated warehouse space.

“It can be very touching, very moving, seeing people down, pretty destitute. It’s nice to help,” Brian told FOX 17 News. “They’re very grateful. Very appreciative… Knowing that there are kids out there that need to have the Christmas spirit on Christmas morning, get a gift from Santa Claus, from their parents… that keeps us going.”

For more information on FATE, click here.

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