For the second consecutive year, Breslyn Golden has embraced the holiday spirit, raising money toward Toys for Tots.
This year, the Dalton resident doubled down on her effort for the campaign, raising $2,000 — twice as much as last year.
Oh, and Breslyn is only 4.
“Ever since she could comprehend it, we instilled that we are blessed and everyone doesn’t have the toys she does,” said Jessica Wells, Breslyn’s mother. “She said she wanted to buy all the toys for all the babies. This all came from her; we just provided the platform to make it happen.”
Breslyn also likes to make treats for those who donated. Last year, it was pumpkin pies, and this year, it was cookies.
“I’ve never been much of a baker, but she really enjoys it,” Wells said. “She wanted to say thank you for donating. Her mind is always in a giving spot, and she does make a mean pumpkin pie.”
With the help of funding from All Seasons Realty Group, Ronnie’s Cycles in Adams and Berkshire Money Management, along with donations from family members and friends, Breslyn filled four shipping carts at Target. She also went to Barnes & Noble and TJ Maxx to purchase more gifts to donate toward the local Toys for Tots campaign.
Toys for Tots is a program, run by the Marine Corps, that collects new, unwrapped gifts to distribute to less-fortunate children at Christmas.
Breslyn’s efforts received a nod from the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday morning.
“Sheriff [Thomas] Bowler and the staff at the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office want to thank Breslyn for her hard work and dedication for Berkshire County,” read a post on the department’s Facebook page. “Many of us can all take a lesson from this. Not only is this story emotionally moving, but it shows us that the will to help out not only benefits the community, but can have a major impact on someone’s life and that someone may be you!”
A total of 148 donated toys later, Breslyn’s fundraising, and baking, might be a tradition in the making.
“This became much bigger than we expected,” Wells said. “It is amazing to see her comprehend the big picture and have this giving spirit. When the Sheriff’s Office came to pick up the toys, we started to brainstorm for next year, and it could become an annual thing.”
Wells mentioned that Breslyn would like to become a doctor or police officer, but is developing her passion for baking.
“We’ll have to see what she comes up with,” Wells said of next year’s plan. “She asked for a lot of baking stuff for Christmas.”