It may be pocket change to adults, but for 7-year-old Tye Merrill Jr., it all adds up to a big goal — purchase toys for kids impacted by the May 20 tornado in Moore, Okla.
The Grove second grader has started “Tye’s Toys for Kids,” an effort designed to purchase toys for kids who lost everything in the May 20 tornado.
“Toys help kids, it makes them happy,” Merrill said, adding that if something happend to his things, he would want to replace his favorite stuffed gorilla.
The project grew out of a conversation Merrill and his parents had as the family watched coverage of the Moore event.
In the last few days, Merrill has collected $540 in change and small bills from friends, family members and neighbors. His niece, Allera Amendolara, 6, is also helping raise money toward the project.
Merrill initially set a goal to raise $1,000 by the end of June, but because of initial success in the first week, he has increased the amount to $2,000.
Merrill’s mother, Crystal, said once he finishes his fund-raising efforts, she plans to take him to Moore so he can see how his desire to help can make a difference.
“He knew about the tornado and we talked about how all of the kids lost their toys and everything,” Crystall Merrill said. “He said he wanted to help.
“I told him, ok Tye, if you are serious, let’s go.”
Merrill has even challenged a few businesses in Grove to consider making matching grant donations, to help with this cause.
Merrell is the son of Tye and Crystal Merrill and the grandson of Katie and Terry Merrill and Floyd and Dena Vermillion, all of Grove.
Want to donate or help? Persons interested may contact Merrill at 918-964-0826. Donations may also be left at The Grove Sun office, 16 W. Third, Grove.