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While Sweeping out his garage, BYU-Idaho student Cody Chandler had the inspiration to organize a toy drive for those affected by the wildfires in California.

January 19, 2018
Writer: Myles Primm

In a neighborhood in Pocatello Idaho, A BYU-Idaho student was sweeping out his garage and had the thought, "you should do a toy drive". The student didn't brush away the idea like the clutter on the floor, he just wasn't sure what to do with the idea.

When he went back to school, BYU-Idaho student Cody Chandler fount out the choir he was part of was going to participate in the #LightTheWorld initiative put on by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were asked by the LDS church to participate in some way to help with the initiative.

Teaming with a Boy Scout working on his Eagle Project Chandler set up boxes for people to donate unwrapped toys at local grocery stores and restaurants. Because this was new to Chandler, they had no idea how much they should expect.

Once the window of time for donations had ended, Chandler and his dad collected the toys in a trailer and drove them to California. There they dropped the toys off and had the chance to look at some of the damage in the area.

Some neighborhoods were hit but such an intense heat, they would have to completely rebuild the homes. With flames reaching as hot at 2000 degrees the concrete foundations of homes were completely ruined and there was not much left standing in the charred scar that was a place many called home.

When they made their donations, they were told the relief organizations were going to be able to distribute 2 or 3 toys to each child. When Christmas came around, the children who were left with nothing were actually received 7 presents on Christmas. This was due to the donations from across the country. With that success, Chandler felt that they had accomplished something great.