Operation Giveback prepares for Easter Sunday toy drive – KION546
SALINAS, Calif. (KION) – The Easter Bunny is delivering more than eggs this
weekend. It’s that time of year when Operation Giveback surprises kids on the Central Coast.
For more than a decade, Ollie Lowe has made it his goal that no child will be left behind during the holidays. Operation Giveback will return this Easter Sunday for the local community.
The idea of this tradition goes back many years. Lowe is the creator of the operation and says the idea came to him at a young age.
“It all honestly started years ago when I was a kid. My mom used to take families to the Salvation Army over the holidays and take families there to buy clothes and gifts,” said Lowe.
Lowe understands from first-hand experience why children may need help, especially during the holidays.
“I was that kid,” Lowe said. “So I was a child in need who didn’t have the cleats for football or didn’t have the registration fees to practice certain sports, didn’t have the school supplies necessary on a daily basis, so I was that kid. So I’m an advocate for those kids that I’ve been around, I’ve lived that life, I understand it.”
What started as a small project inside a garage has turned into a community event. Lowe partnered with different groups, car clubs and production companies to collect toys.
A local girl, Madison Mitchell, celebrated her birthday with the others and joined Operation Giveback every year to help children.
“I will ask anyone who comes to bring a toy without a box and I will; even ask my family and then I’ll put it in the box and donate it,” Mitchell said.
Another little helper closer to Lowe likes to do the exact same thing. Lowe’s daughter, Praisia, carries on the tradition and follows in her father’s footsteps.
“I have the ability to give back and because I have that ability, I think it’s important that I contribute to people in need”
If you happen to be in Salinas this Sunday, you might spot Lowe.
“On Sunday we will be going to local parks and handing out Easter baskets and eggs,” Lowe said.
But when Easter comes to an end, it’s always back to work for Lowe.
“It’s endless, it’s always going to continue. I hope my daughter will take care of this once I’m long gone and inspire others who want to come on board and that’s something that will be there forever”
Even though the youth are the ones benefiting, you are never too young to start giving back.
Praisia enjoys helping her local community and hopes it will inspire others.
“It’s an opportunity to inspire others and I love that feeling.