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Vickery Village holds annual Lily Anderson Toy Drive
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Vickery Village business owners and the Anderson family of Cumming held the annual Lily Anderson Toy Drive to benefit Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta on Dec. 15 in memory of the events namesake. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

SOUTHWEST FORSYTH -- Owners, tenants, employees, customers and residents at a mixed-use development in southwest Forsyth have delivered thousands of toys and hundreds of pound of food to local organizations ahead of the Christmas holiday.

Vickery Village business owners and the Anderson family of Cumming held the annual Lily Anderson Toy Drive to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Dec. 15 in memory of the event’s namesake.

Lily Anderson, then a Vickery Creek Middle School student, passed away in 2012 at the age of 11 after battling neuroblastoma cancer.

“Lily’s family, including mom Jennifer, dad Joey and sister Audrey, help coordinate the toy drive on Dec. 15 to help carry on the spirit of their daughter,” said Susan Grunwald, of Vickery Village.

Hundreds of residents gathered for the toy drive, the donations from which were driven to CHOA, where Lily was treated, to be given to children who will be spending their holidays in the hospital.

From Nov. 11 to Dec. 16, Vickery also coordinated a food drive to benefit Forsyth families struggling with food insecurity, with many retailers providing incentives and discounts in exchange.

The center collected more than 500 pounds of food to be donated to Meals By Grace, which helps children and their families who were selected by Forsyth County Schools social workers. Meals By Grace also runs a full-service pantry on Tuesdays and Thursdays for community members in need who have some form of transportation.

“According to Meals By Grace, each night over 30,000 children and their families go to bed hungry in Forsyth County,” Grunwald said. “It is estimated that nearly 8,000 Forsyth County school-aged children are on free and reduced lunch.”

Meals By Grace provides a weekly hot meal to families registered for the program and additional food to help them provide a four to five meals per week at home, including breakfast and lunch to replace the school=-provided meals during holiday breaks.