KOAM ToyBox helps Iola family recovering from house fire

IOLA, Kan. – About this same time last year, lightning struck in Iola burning Chantal Trester’s home to the ground. Even though her family lost everything, they’ve remained optimistic.

“It’s been hard, but fun at the same time. Makes it easier to get Christmas and more excuses to buy stuff for them,” said Chantal.

Trester says the community rallied around her then, and they’re doing it again with help from the First Baptist Church and KOAM’s ToyBox. For the past seven years, she’s counted on the program to help buy presents for her three children, 9-year-old Jacob, 7-year-old Nickolas Jr. and little Ezra who just turned three.

“It helps with gifts from Santa. Everything that comes from them, I put ‘From Santa’ since we don’t know who it’s from and it is a secret Santa to them. I don’t know what’s in there and I don’t take any credit for it and it helps me buy them more gifts from me,” explained Chantal.

Trester says Jacob’s disability sometimes makes him hard to understand, but he’s pretty clear about his love for the holidays.

“Christmas all about it,” exclaimed Jacob.
“You’re all about Christmas,” confirmed Chantal.

This year the Iola Police Department will be helping out the Trester’s, distributing toys with help from the KOAM ToyBox.

This mom has a message for her community and all the people who will make Christmas possible in her new home: “Thank you to First Baptist Church and the Iola Police Department for making the ToyBox possible.”

Chantal says her kids keep her busy and she’s not normally a morning person, but on Christmas Day she is.

She loves seeing the smiles on her kids’ faces.

Please donate to our KOAM ToyBox so we can help spread smiles to families across the 4-States.