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KBEY's Kay Baker Has Experienced Magic of Toy Drive Firsthand

KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune 'Wake Up Call' host Kay Baker (left) talks with guests during last year's The Picayune and KBEY Toy Drive. Baker knows firsthand the toy drive's importance for many area families. Staff photo by Jennifer Greenwell

As Kay Baker prepares to host the The Picayune and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune Toy Drive, she personally reflected on the importance of the organizations whose volunteers work tirelessly around the year to ensure every child in the Highland Lakes wakes up Christmas morning with presents under the tree.

“When we first moved here to the Highland Lakes, or shortly after, my family and I were struggling,” said Baker, a co-host of the “Wake Up Call” on KBEY. “At first, I didn’t know if we could afford presents for my son, and that’s not an easy thing for a parent.”

She and her family signed up for help through Highland Lakes Christmas is for Kids, a local nonprofit that raises money and buys toys throughout the year to give to children in need on Christmas. Baker filled out the paperwork, which included her son’s clothing sizes and the things he wanted for Christmas.

Then, the volunteers took the list, along with hundreds of others, and made those young people’s Christmas dreams come true.

“It was so nice to know our son was going to be able to wake up on Christmas and have presents under the tree,” Baker said. “I know it sounds trivial compared to so many other things, but it really means a lot to know your child is going to have a Christmas.”

It’s one reason Baker loves the annual The Picayune and KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune Toy Drive, which is 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. The toy drive benefits Highland Lakes Christmas is for Kids, Burnet County Santa’s Helpers, and Granite Shoals Christmas Outreach.

Baker and her “Wake Up Call” co-host, Ed Chandler, will be broadcasting live from Chevrolet Buick of Marble Falls, 2301 U.S. 281, while the always upbeat Ben Shields will be at the Burnet Fire Department, 2002 S. Water St. (U.S. 281) accepting toys and monetary donations. Baker said they’re working on a lineup of musical guests and others to help make it a festive event.

You can also drop off toys and donations at the Granite Shoals Fire Department, 8410 RR 1431, and the Marble Falls VFW Post No. 10376, 1001 Veterans Way.

When her family was struggling, and she worried about buying Christmas presents for her son, Baker found a bright spot in the grace and love of the Highland Lakes Christmas is for Kids volunteers.

“They were so kind,” Baker said. “When you drive up to get the gifts, I think they still do it that way, the volunteers were wonderful and just made you feel special, like they wanted to take care of you and your family.”

The presents even came wrapped, which really helped come Christmas morning, when her son jumped out of bed and raced to the waiting presents. The wrapping paper was unlike any in the house.

“So he knew then, since the paper the presents were wrapped in wasn’t like anything we had, these gifts must be from Santa,” Baker said.

And, if you think about it, she added, they were. He just used a lot of Highland Lakes elves to make it happen.

“After being helped by one of these organizations, I just want to do all I can to help them out,” Baker added. “That’s why I look forward to and love this toy drive so much. So c’mon out and see us.”

If you want to drop off toys or donations prior to the day of the drive, you can do so at Galloway Insurance, 100 Avenue H, Suite 101, in Marble Falls; KoKo FitClub, 1400 RR 1431, Suite 120, in Marble Falls; McDonald’s of Marble Falls, 1605 RR 1431; Madlyn’s, 2106 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls; Bulldog Bodywerks, 1304 Buchanan Drive in Burnet; and Granite Mesa Health Center, 1404 Max Copeland Drive in Marble Falls.

Or, just bring them to The Picayune and KBEY office at 1007 Avenue K in Marble Falls during regular business hours.

You don’t need to make a big donation. Give what you can because it all adds up.

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