CHATHAM—He's Santa in a pint-size package.
The 9-year-old boy, who attends Beasley Elementary School, said he was so excited about sending toys he collected that he could hardly sleep Wednesday night.
"Yeah, I was tossing and turning all night," said Samuel, who lives in the Pill Hill neighborhood on the South Side. "It feels good, though, to know that these toys will help make Christmas that much better for someone I never met.
"I am staying home from school today to make sure these toys get sent off."
His father, Victor Love, a single father of three, said the 593 toys would be sent to Lt. Col. Henrietta Klemanski, who oversees the toy program for the Salvation Army in New York. A total of $500 was also raised during the weeklong toy drive from Dec. 10-15, which will be used to pay for shipping, Victor Love said.
"Rain, sleet or snow will not stop us from sending these toys to needy kids in New York," he said. "A lot of work was put into this effort, and now it is almost complete. Once all the toys are distributed then I will consider this venture a done deal."
Both father and son will send off the toys 1 p.m. at the post office at 7748 S. Cottage Grove Ave. The toys will then be distributed by three organizations in Brooklyn: Chionesu Bakari Program, Handover Childcare and What About The Children Inc.
Samuel said he is planning another toy drive for next year.
"I will get an early start this time because I want to continue helping kids less fortunate than me," he said.