Vienna’s Tyler McCormack, 17, is like most other high school seniors: busy preparing for college.
He is also busy working to give back during the holiday season. This year he is working to collect toys for children who were victims of Hurricane Sandy.
As a freshman at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, McCormack started the nonprofit Reach Out for Kids. His first project was a book drive for Fairfax’s FACETS. He’s also worked with a number of orphanages in Nassau to help bring them school supplies, backpacks, Christmas presents and more.
This year, as a senior, McCormack said after seeing what the victims of Sandy were going through, he wanted to help make sure they could do something for the children who might be struggling through the holidays.
Toys are being collected at multiple locations, including the Mountain Kim Tae Kwon Do studios in Oakton and Vienna. Toys will be collected up until about Dec. 14 and there are plans to rent a truck to bring the toys to New Jersey in mid-December, just in time for Christmas.
“Without this — the kids in New Jersey — they’re not going to have a Christmas,” McCormack said. “Every little thing we can do is just going to make them that much happier.”
The organization is also working to ship toys to the orphanages it works with in Nassau, which should also ship out this week, he said. Local business JK Movers is helping once again to transport the toys from Northern Virginia to Ft. Lauderdale, where they'll be put on The Mail Boat to Nassau.
McCormack said they’re taking donations of toys for all ages, including dolls, Beanie Babies, sports equipment and more. They’ll arrange for the toys to be distributed to children in areas of New Jersey that were hit especially hard by Sandy he said.
Other local businesses that have pitched in on the effort include United Storage on Mill Street, providing boxes for the collections, and Mountain Kim Tae Kwon Do, which has placed drop boxes for donations at it's Vienna and Oakton locations.
“Anything will help, no matter how small the contribution,” McCormack said. “It’s still going to make someone’s day. It will make someone so much happier.”
Toys can be donated at the Mountain Kim Tae Kwon Do studios located at:
• 2952 Chain Bridge Rd # K, Oakton, VA 22124
• 210 Dominion Road, NE Vienna, VA 22180