Joyce Marie Taylor
Live Oak —
On Friday, Aug. 16, a very special little girl stopped in at the Live Oak Fire Department with her mother and a pickup truck jam packed with toys for donation. Her name is Whitley Cochran and she just turned 10 on Friday, Aug. 9.
Instead of asking for toys for herself as a birthday gift, Cochran chose to donate 152 toys and other items to Sparky’s Kids, LOFD’s program that helps give kids presents for Christmas. Training and Safety Officer Alan Bedenbaugh from LOFD was there to greet Cochran and her mother when they arrived just before 10 a.m.
“This young girl said, ‘I want toys for my birthday, so I can give them to Sparky’s Kids,’” Bedenbaugh said, smiling at Cochran, and clearly thrilled with her generosity.
“On my 10th birthday, I decided to do (this donation),” said Cochran. “Instead of getting toys for me, I’m giving toys for the fire department. They do a drive every year for needy kids that don’t get Christmas presents. This year I donated almost 200 toys.”
Cochran’s mother, Pam Cochran, said her father used to be the fire chief and they did the toy drive every year when he was chief.
“We’ve been doing it for a long time,” she said. “This year we decided to up the ante and see how many toys she (Whitley) could get. Her goal was 100 and she met 152, not including some hats, scarves, gloves and things like that.” Whitley is the daughter of Billy and Pam Cochran.