Allison's Toy Story

Some people come to the studio with more than just Toys for Tots; they come with stories. Allison's Toy Story is one of the most inspiring.

WITN is proud to support the Toys for Tots campaign each December.  It's a lot of fun for us at the studio to see the toys start to pile up into little hills of happiness for kids on Christmas morning. We also love getting to meet the many generous people who come with gifts for kids they will never meet.  Occasionally, people come armed with more than just toys; they come with stories of inspiration of why they were moved to make a donation.  

 
Ollie Black came to the Greenville Studio with two toys and with a story about her daughter, Allison. 
 
This is Allison's toy story. 
 
Allison Fagley is 47 years old, and she ran a day care in Hatteras for 20 years.  She had to leave the day care and move to Greenville, because she can't be alone.  Allison has brain cancer, and her mother says, she is dying. 
 
Ollie says when her children were young, she allowed them to bring home any animals they wanted, but there was one rule: once they nursed the animal to health, they had to set them free. Ollie says they had all sort of animals running around their property, including a pigeon at one point.  Allison nursed the pigeon, but as with all the creatures, the time came to set the bird free. Ollie says the pigeon didn't go far, staying by the family's home for two weeks, much to the delight of the children.  It's a memory the family still smiles about, all these years later. 
 
Allison used the lessons her mother taught her in running her day care, Friendship Bridge.  She did the best she could to care for the children there, but there inevitably came a time to set them free, and send them on to elementary school.  One of the ways she helped care for her kids was to teach them to care for others through Toys for Tots.  
 
Each year, the day care would hold a bake sale to raise money for Toys for Tots. Allison would take the money and the kids to Norfolk, where they would shop for toys until every penny was spent. Then the toys would all be donated to Toys for Tots.  
 
Ollie told us the day care still held a bake sale this year to raise money for Toys for Tots, helping continue Allison's toy story, though Allison is too sick to even walk anymore.  The doctors have done all they can, Ollie says, but they can't nurse Allison back to health.  The time will come where her family will have to let her go.  Yet because of Allison, countless kids in Eastern Carolina have the memories of waking up to toys on Christmas morning, thanks to a woman they will never meet.  This year, a little girl will unwrap a pink play toaster.  A little boy will unwrap a set of three trucks.  Allison's toy story will continue with the many little boys and girls she cared for at Friendship Bridge over two decades.  No doubt some of them will bring the kindness to their community that Allison brought to their young, impressionable lives.  Allison's toy story will live on.
 

 

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  • by Shelly Location: Buxton on Jan 13, 2011 at 02:46 PM
    I remember a few years ago when I played at a benefit for Allison at the Hatteras Civic center. I dedicated a song to her entitled "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers. As I sang the crowd rose from their seats,held hands,joined in song and encircled Allison on the dance floor. I just remember that beaming smile throughout the entire song. Afterwards she ran up on stage, gave me a big hug and said thank you so much. I don't know who felt better at that moment.....me or her. She gave so much love to every one and everything she touched..........she will be truly missed!
  • by Becky Smith Location: Manteo on Jan 13, 2011 at 01:29 PM
    I was blessed to know Allison for the last year of her life and I will never forget her giving heart or her shining smile.
  • by Denise Location: New Bern, NC on Jan 13, 2011 at 07:06 AM
    I grew up in Frisco and Allison and I were very close friends. When we graduated from High School we didn't keep in touch as much...but I have never forgotten all the fun we had! Allison, Georgia, Mary Sue, and Merry Sue and I were BFF'S! I have missed the good tmes we had togeather playing with our dolls and walking around in "the villiage" together! Allison has blessed many lives with her good heart and was hardly ever seen without a smile on her face. Even though we haven't seen each other in years...I cherish the memories of our childhood together and I want you and Kim, Ollie and Ray to know that I'm praying for the peace that passes ALL understanding to be with you all. Godspeed Allison, you and your life will always be remembered with love and many many happy memories!
  • by Dorothy Location: Missouri on Jan 7, 2011 at 10:03 AM
    Ollie is my sister in law and for such a tiny lady she shows the strength of a mama lion.
  • by Jodie Location: Frisco, NC on Dec 19, 2010 at 04:48 PM
    You have been such an inspiration & Blessing for us all. You are truly a servant of God. When you see Jesus in Heaven he will say Well Done My Good & Faithful Servant!!! Love & Prayers to The Family.
  • by Ollie Location: Greenville on Dec 16, 2010 at 03:29 AM
    I want to thank Heather for the beautiful story on Allison "Toy for Tots." I want to thank everybody that has sent in a comment for they'll all so beautiful and heart warming. I made a copy of them all and took them to her and read them to her and you can tell it touched her heart. She can't read now but she held them in her hand (the good one). Knowing she has God with her makes it easier to go through this, she says she is going to keep God's day care one day and not to cry. She said "Don't cry because God is holding her and she doesn't want Him to see crying faces only smiling ones." so we are doing the best we can. We Pray she will be with us Christmas for she loves Christmas, we're taking her tonight to see the lights. Pray for her sister Kim that's taking the best of care for her, it touches your heart to see her go through this without crying in front of Allison, but she is keeping up for her wish to not cry. God Bless and Be With Each Of You. Her mom Ollie
  • by Barbara Location: Frisco,NC on Dec 15, 2010 at 12:02 PM
    Your brave fight and love of God will make me try and be a better person too. I have known for a long time that the best way to teach is through example. This short story is but one example of the lessons you have given to all of us on Hatteras Island. The lesson that will take me the furthest is your trust in God. This faith is the grace and love that we feel and see in you. Merry Christmas to you and the family. I love you forever! Barbara
  • by Vivian Gray Location: Fort Myers Florida on Dec 15, 2010 at 04:40 AM
    I will make a donation to Toys for Tots in memory of Allison and of the precious two children she leaves behind. I too will remember her mother and the wonderful love she extended to my family in our time of grief. Allison was a wonderful mother and a devoted caregiver to children of Hatteras Island. She will be greatly missed.
  • by Georgia Hardee Location: Oak Ridge, North Carolina on Dec 14, 2010 at 04:44 PM
    Allison's Toy Story will be shared with all of my students at Northwest Guilford High School. Our FBLA club is having a Toys for Tots and Canned Food Drive and we are giving to 42 families this Christmas. Tomorrow, my students will better understand the difference they are making after hearing Allison's Toy Story. There is so much power in love.
  • by Lorraine Burrus Location: Hatteras, N C on Dec 14, 2010 at 03:39 PM
    Thank you Allison for all the beautiful footprints you have left on our hearts.
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