Christmas Toy Challenge

Christmas Toy Challenge
By: Holly Brantley
STODDARD COUNTY, MO --Two Stoddard County towns are going head to head in a fierce competition. It’s a Christmas Challenge and it’s all for a worthy cause.

So, what’s at stake? Dollar General Stores in Puxico and Bloomfield are going to battle over Barbie, Barney, and G.I. Joe.

The Challenge: Which store can bring in the most toys for needy local children.
In both towns competition is heating up.
At each Dollar General Store, the phone is usually ringing off the hook.
“She’s calling me 10 or 12 times a day, I’m calling her 10 or 12 times a day,” said Bloomfield Dollar General Manager, Tracy Gaither.
The phone calls have become a daily ritual to see which store is ahead.
“They’ve got 900 toys, we’ve got over 600,” said Gaither.
“It’s a fun challenge and right now we’re winning, and that’s all that matters,” said Puxico Dollar General Manager, Stacy Griffin.
The managers agree both towns have been touched by the Christmas spirit.
Gaither says Bloomfield residents and Community Organizations and churches are in on the Christmas Challenge.    
Meanwhile the people of Puxico say the spirit of giving has spread through out the entire town. Folks are challenging each other to give.
And, it’s reaching beyond just toys.
Maryann Coutavas represents a local charity.
“Today People’s Community Bank gave me a five hundred dollar donation,” said Coutavas. “I’m just overwhelmed by what we are going to be able to do for our needy families, it’s wonderful.”
Both Dollar General Store managers agree that giving is the idea. They hope to get everyone into the holiday spirit of giving.     
“It’s really good for our people to get motivated and into Christmas, into the kids.  They deserve to have a good holiday and we need to make sure they do,” said Gaither.
“It’s for a good cause,” said Griffin. “It’s for the kids and that’s what it’s all about, to make sure they have a nice holiday.”
You can donate toys at either Dollar General Store in Puxico or Bloomfield.
The stores will accept donations through the 16th.