Week #116- Five Weeks to Happyness: MONSTER TRUCKS for TOYS!
(Happyness Revisited — with Amy Wood-Oblen)
Greetings Happyness Tribe — and Happy December!
Hope everyone had a fun and fulfilling Thanksgiving Weekend! The holiday season is officially underway — and nothing pleases me more than to revisit the story of a young mother paying it forward as part of our Year-End Countdown to Happyness!
Rob’s classmate — Amy Wood-Oblen and her family — are ONCE AGAIN headlining the Monster Trucks for Toys Event at the Chatterbox Drive-In in Augusta, NJ.
AND IT’S THIS WEEKEND!
This year’s event takes place on Saturday, December 3rd from 11-3p — and will continue to benefit children in Sussex County this holiday season. Each new, unwrapped toy gets you a ride on the Monster Truck for free! (See poster for details.)
Amy told me last year that she and her family are happy to give back to Project Self-Sufficiency’s Season of Hope Program. “It means a lot to us because years before I met my husband I lived in Sussex County with my son and for a few years they helped me to put presents under my tree, so I owe them a lot.”
This all started a few years ago while Amy’s husband Shawn (owner of NJ Monster Trucks) was eating at the Chatterbox Drive-In — and talking with owner. During that conversation, they came up with the idea of doing rides for toys.
Five or six years later, it’s a tradition!
Last year they collected a dining room full of toys! (See photo below.) Toys that will go to children right in Amy and Sean’s — and The Chatterbox’s — own backyard. Amy added, “it’s a plus to know it will be local children receiving the gifts.”
And while the suggested donation value is $5 per ride, Amy says: “The great thing about this event is how much people give…they give much much more!”
Weather has been an issue in the past because if it rains or snows they have to cancel. This year they are starting early — with a rain/snow date of Sunday, December 4th.
It’s been years now since Amy has needed to apply for help at Christmas. “I still can feel the anxious feeling waiting to see if I would qualify to receive gifts. It’s been 11 years and it’s still so fresh to me.” Doing the toy drive allows her to take that feeling away from other parents.
“Seeing and living the magic through my children and knowing we can give other children that same magic is what Happyness means to us.”
Your Happyness Challenge for the week ahead: GIVE GENEROUSLY!!! As I wrote in Week #11 when this blog first started, one of my brother’s greatest joys was donating to Toys for Tots each year. Spread the Wealth again this year! If you’re a Sussex County local, Amy’s event on Saturday is a great place to start. I’ve also written about the Kindness for Christopher Pajama Drive. Otherwise — find a church, local food bank (don’t forget the coffee!), Salvation Army, or other organization that will benefit people in need right in your own backyard!
Spread Happyness — GIVE GENEROUSLY! Spread the Wealth and donate a game or toy (or food, coffee, pajamas, etc.) to those in need this year!
(And if you or someone you know is hosting their own local charity event or fundraiser that Spreads Happyness directly to those who need it — please let me know! I’d love to feature them on the blog!)
12/2/16 by Grace Church
© Grace Church
(PS: Special thanks to Amy Wood-Oblen for taking the time to share her story with me — again! To learn more about NJ Monster Trucks, visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/NJMonsters)