VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Port Orange City Council member and local musician Reed Foley says he’s always had a soft spot for children.
Foley recently raised $15,000 in just two weeks to help Toys for Tots bring Christmas Joy to thousands of local children who would otherwise be left in need.
“You don’t realize how good you have it until you see people who don’t,” Foley said as he helped distribute donated gifts at DeLand’s Dr. Joyce Cusack Resource Center Tuesday morning.
Foley and his band played shows to raise money for Toys for Tots. They ended up raising five times more than the $3,000 they originally hoped to earn.
The money went towards gifts for Toys for Tots and the 611 kids the Cusack Center serves.
“I’ve always shed tears because I can tell you, I can’t think of a better sight than of a kid who comes and their eyes light up when they enter this room,” Cusack Center Director Shilretha Dixon said.
Toys for Tots is limited to purchases of under $35.
Foley, on the other hand, bought more expensive gifts like guitars and kindles for kids in the nine to 13-year-old age range.
Toys for Tots officials say they tend to struggle to find gifts for that particular age group each year.
Foley says the best gift for him is seeing the joy the toys bring.
“To stand here and be able to hand out these toys, to have this opportunity, it’s life-changing,” Foley said.
Foley also randomly handed out new Kindles to children at Tuesday’s gift distribution.
A self-described aspiring recording artist, Reed also represents the First District on Port Orange’s City Council.
Cox Media Group