Young girl hosts toy drive for foster children

VIENNA, W. Va. (WTAP) - Ashlen Martin is a 13 year old girl who has been collecting Christmas gifts for foster children for the last six years.

This year Jon Six of Jon Six Hair Company and Victoria West of Gift Gallery of Vienna teamed up to help collect the gifts.

Jon opened his shop to the public as a gift drop off destination.

"We have children coming in giving back instead of receiving so I think it’s really teaching our younger generation to give to the less fortunate," said Six.

Many families came out to bring gifts and Ashlen was overwhelmed with the amount of gifts donated.

"It’s really great that the community is giving back to this, our goal was 600 gifts but it has gone way over past that and I am very grateful for that," said Martin.

Ashlen has the community’s support.

"She’s amazing and I just love that we have a young girl in our community that sees the need and she stepped forward," said West.

According to Laurea Ellis of West Virginia DHHR, there are 300 children in foster care in Wood County.

“Foster children are fluid, they come and they go. They go home; they come into the system, so we can have toys for them when they come into the system. It helps to make their Christmas a lot brighter," said Ellis.

Ashlen will be hosting her next toy drive at the Piggly Wiggly in Vienna on December 7th and will be collecting gifts until then.

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