This year, Christmas will be even more special for many children in the Lake Martin area, thanks to a band with a big idea and the caring hearts of a community wanting to help those in need.
On Saturday, Nov. 30, music filled Lake Martin Baptist Church as local band Church & Main hosted its inaugural Toy Drive Concert. The catch? Instead of selling tickets, the band asked each attendee to bring a toy for a holiday toy drive.
The toy drive idea started with band member Beau McCary. McCary works as a driver for a delivery company and saw firsthand how many children would be in need this Christmas. He approached other band members about doing something a little different this holiday season and they decided on a concert event that would double as a toy drive.
“When Beau shared his idea with us one night, it was unanimous that this was something we wanted to do,” said Mike Keyes, the band founder.
Keyes, a retired law enforcement officer, started the praise and worship band with his son, Kevin. All of the members are from Jackson’s Gap and Dadeville and are deeply connected to the lake community. Immediately, they reached out to pastors and school counselors in the community to help identify families in need.
They set a date and band members began posting flyers, making calls and even did television and radio appearances to promote the event.
The band also set up donation boxes at Floyd’s Feed and Seed in Dadeville and the Downtown Body Shop in Alexander City.
More than 200 people attended the concert. By the end of the night, attendees had brought enough gifts to fill a trailer. To date, the toy drive has collected more than 300 toys for the children of Tallapoosa County.
Word has spread throughout the community and other organizations are pitching in as well. The Darlin Divas, a Camp Fire group of elementary school girls in Alexander City, collected 40 toys and donated them to the drive.
“It’s amazing to see how much people in our community care for each other. We are really excited about the turnout and the support,” band member Clint McKelvey said.
The toys have now been distributed to churches and schools in Tallapoosa County to help distribute to families in need. With the cash donations, the band purchased gifts for teenagers in the families.
“This event was a great way for us to give back,” Keyes said. “I really feel like the Lord brought our band together and this is one way we can continue to reach out.”
After this year’s success, the band plans to host the event for years to come.
For more information about Church & Main, contact Mike Keyes at 256-307-4774.