“Things went awesome.”

Ask toy store owner Maggie Kerbs how things went with their giving tree at Poindexter’s Games and Toys in Hawley, and that’s what she’ll say.


“Things went awesome.”


Ask toy store owner Maggie Kerbs how things went with their giving tree at Poindexter’s Games and Toys in Hawley, and that’s what she’ll say.


A week before Christmas, the tree was full of tags, each representing a family in need, a child with a wish, or a need for warm clothing. Kerbs says more than 200 items were needed, all to benefit families in the Hawley and Honesdale area.


“People came in left and right after reading the article,” Kerbs said, referring to an earlier article in The Wayne Independent. “People were very generous.” One un-named woman came in, took a tag, met the need, and placed a present under the tree. But she didn’t stop there. She took another tag, and then another. “It was overwhelming to see — overwhelming,” Kerbs said.
“The sentiment was just, with times the way they are, everyone has empathy towards one-another,” Kerbs said. People can relate, having been there before or having come close to tough times themselves, she said.


Event-coordinator Sunshine Falcone says she knew things would work out. “I believe in the whole law of attraction thing ...You have to focus on something. If you truly want it, it’ll come to you.” And it did. From a tree devoid of gifts, the giving grew to piles of presents beneath the tree — all to make Christmas merrier for kids in need. “When I walked in (to the toy store), my jaw dropped. There were piles and piles of presents everywhere — a skyscraper of gifts,” Falcone said. “There was a lady, we don’t have her name, who bought about $400 worth of stuff. It covered a bunch of tags, plus some. It took care of five families.” In total, they helped about 200 kids, including eight or nine families and countless individuals.


Falcone says parents didn’t ask for anything for themselves, just for their children. So Falcone took the monetary donations, about $350 in total, and bought gift cards at area grocery stores so families could buy food and essentials.   


Touched by Angels
Falcone delivered the gifts Christmas Eve. “I’m telling you, my whole car was just packed like sardines and I have a big Yukon (sport utility vehicle),” she said. It was a time of joy and tears. “They were so grateful. I had two moms come to tears,” she said. Some have said they’ll write thank-you cards, to be displayed at Poindexter’s. 


“I’m going to write a thank-you letter to all the families that gave. So many people helped. I feel bad — I don’t know all their names. I just want to send out an absolute thank-you for everyone. They totally fulfilled my wish for Christmas,” Falcone said, to be able to help every child on the giving tree. “The community, when they know there’s a need, they step up. They’re like angels, touched by angels, there’s no other way to say it. Even if they’re having hard times, they know there are others having it even harder,” Falcone said. 


“Due to the community, it’s been a great success two years in a row,” Kerbs said of the giving tree. “I think we’re going to make this our Christmas tradition.”