The 2016 Afton’s Toys for Troopers has already started with huge help from several people and businesses in the community, according to Sherri Taylor-Hoskins.
“We have already hit over 100 stuffed animals to distribute to the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Kentucky State Police, and hopefully this year we can include the Virginia State Police,” said Taylor-Hoskins. “Nothing nor anyone knows the peace this brings to us because we know that officers don’t just work these fatalities and forget and go home.”
“The fatlities are forever with you,” said Taylor-Hoskins, whose daughter Afton died in a crash with a drunk driver in April of 2002. “State Trooper Carl Reed stayed with us, you become friends, family — the death of a child affects them also.”
Taylor-Hoskins started this effort several years ago because of the loss her family suffered. Afton would have been in the Powell Valley High School class of 2002.
“The stuffed animals are for their trunks when they come upon wrecks to comfort children who have been in accidents and their parents are hurt or have done wrong and they need to help them,” she said. “I never knew the load these officers carried until I lost my Afton and then I knew. I was forever grateful for all they do and I would forever give this gift to the THP.”
Taylor-Hoskins didn’t receive help with her project until last year, when people started helping.
“Now Afton’s gift goes even further. Donation sites are Middleboro Daily News, Claiborne Progress, Three States Printing, Sanderella’s in Harrogate next to the Oasis also and Angie’s Flowers and Gifts in Pineville, Kentucky. Other drop-off locations will be posted as they become available.
Reach Marisa Anders at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @newsgirl88.