Metro East teen collects $10,000 for 'Toys for Tots' - KMOV.com

HARRIS HERO

Metro East teen collects $10,000 for 'Toys for Tots'

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Richie Cullen has been giving Christmas gifts to other kids since he went to get a Lego set six years ago. Richie Cullen has been giving Christmas gifts to other kids since he went to get a Lego set six years ago.

JERSEYVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) – The holidays have come and gone, but a 16-year-old from Jerseyville is already planning for Christmas 2016.

Richie Cullen has been giving Christmas gifts to other kids since he went to get a Lego set six years ago.

“He pointed out the set he wanted and I grabbed another one, and this was in the Christmas season, so we walked up to the front, he was wondering why I had the second one and I told him I’d show him when we got to the checkout,” said Rich, Richie’s dad. “We got up there and I walked over to the ‘Toys for Tots’ box and placed it in the box.”

After dropping the toy in the box, the elder Cullen explained how some parents can’t afford to buy presents for their kids.

“No kid should wake up on a Christmas morning, head over to the tree and not see any presents underneath it,” the teenager said.

“It was a week or two later, and he came to me with $15 and wanted to buy another toy for the ‘Toys for Tots,’” said Rich.

Since then, Richie’s efforts have grown. He start’s raising money at the beginning of every year by collecting cans and scrap metal. He also sells homegrown tomatoes and donates whatever money he gets for his birthday.

The teenager’s efforts inspired his relatives to match what he’d collect, then the local VFW and Walmart did the same. Over the past five years, he has donated over $10,000 to ‘Toys for Tots.’

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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