The Cowan Police Department Toy Drive was surprised recently with a generous donation of $10,000 from the Gifford Family Foundation which will be used to purchase toys for children in Cowan and provide food and clothing to families in need this holiday season.
The donation was made in honor of Jimmy Wayne, the Grand Marshall of the 58th Annual Cowan Christmas Parade. As Grand Marshall, Wayne assisted with the toy drive and raising awareness for children and families in need.
"This was a complete shock to us," says Cowan Police Chief Allen Wilkinson. "We are a small city, population 1,770, and our department does what it can to organize and distribute toys, food, clothing, and other assistance to families in need during the holiday season. This will go a long way in helping us serve our community. We are so grateful for Jimmy and the Gifford Family Foundation."
Wayne added, "Betsy Mazzuola reached out to me and asked if I would like to participate in the Cowan Police Department toy drive. One hour into the toy drive, I noticed we only had twelve toys on the table. I tweeted an invitation for folks to come by and drop off a toy. Cody Gifford saw my tweet and called me. He informed me that the Gifford Family Foundation would like to donate $10,000 to the toy drive. I have a long-standing relationship with the Gifford family and knew if they were at all aware of this city's need, they'd be interested in helping these families. Thank you to Kathie Lee, Cody, and the entire Gifford Family Foundation team. You've made a great difference in the lives of so many families this year. God bless you!"
Chief Wilkinson further stated, "We're so thankful. We know how to make dollars stretch and this donation will not only help with the joy and physical needs of hundreds of children and families, but the light the Gifford Family Foundation has shared this season is something we'll carry with us always. We would also like to thank Rebecca Davis and Anchored Outreach for their assistance."
Jimmy recently celebrated the 11-year anniversary of finishing his walk halfway across America - Project Meet Me Halfway - to raise awareness of the plight of more than 30,000 children in foster care. He is a former foster kid turned award-winning country recording artist and New York Times bestselling author of Walk To Beautiful. Jimmy's songs and story highlight his mission to raise awareness for these forgotten youth.
Jimmy's hits include "Stay Gone," "Paper Angels," "I Love You This Much," and "Do You Believe Me Now," which earned BMI's prestigious Million-Air Award for receiving more than one million radio spins in America. In 2009, Jimmy toured with Brad Paisley and recorded "Sara Smile" with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo Daryl Hall and John Oates.