"Seeing the children's faces light up opening those gifts almost brought me to tears."

Plaquemine High School held its annual toy drive for Dorseyville Elementary this year. This is the school's fifth year holding the toy drive for children in need at various elementary schools around the parish.

By participating in this toy drive, high school seniors can earn a portion of the state's required minimum of 25 community service hours to graduate.

This year's toy drive brought in about 200 toys for the seniors to give out, including RC cars, barbie dolls, playhouses, and much more.

The students, staff, and community made contributions toward making this toy drive a success. About 25 rolls of wrapping paper, 10 spools of tape, and countless hours were used to wrap each gift.

Dorseyville Elementary is a family-oriented school that includes grades Pre-K - 6th. Each student from Pre-K and Kindergarten were able to choose one wrapped gift to open.

"Seeing the children's faces light up opening those gifts almost brought me to tears," senior Alexica Williams said. "Now I am thinking about entering the field of teaching."

"It showed me how giving back can affect others as well as myself," senior Jakobe Hahn said. "I hope this inspires them to do as we did when they get older."

"I've driven the seniors for the toy drive every year," Coach Key said. "And every school we have gone to, I get the chance to see the kids light up. Especially the ones that probably won't get a gift--it's like the greatest thing in the world for them."

"The toy drive not only helps students gain service hours," English teacher Jane Green said. "But it also gives them the experience of giving back to others."

Giving back is a skill she hopes the students continue to use once they graduate in May. Mrs. Green has been overseeing the toy drive since it started in 2014.

The school hopes to continue this tradition for many years to come as a way to give back to the children of the community and encourage them to inspire others.