Local Tattoo Shop Holds "Toys for Tats" Event

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DECATUR -- It's a twist on the well known "Toys for Tots" campaign.

The annual event helps bring a little joy to kids who otherwise may not be opening toys on Christmas morning.

At Oakwood Tattoo in Decatur, the owners hoping to give a permanent reminder of that charity. Thursday, Oakwood held their second annual "Toys for Tats" event. It's a clever play on words, but it's also straight to the point -- bring a toy, get a tattoo.

There are stipulations: The toy must be new, and valued at $25 or more.  And the tattoo must be chosen from a pre-selected set of designs - mostly cartoon characters.

The 12-hour event is helped along by volunteers from as far away as San Diego. Oakwood Tattoo co-owner Frank Whittington said many of the people working Thursday know what it's like to spend Christmas without a toy to open.

"As a kid, I grew up with a lot of foster kids," said Whittington. "I've seen what it's like to see families who don't have enough to have a Christmas. Collectively throughout the shop we all had that in our families. If we can make a difference, we want to."

The offer lasts until 10pm Thursday.  Last year, Oakwood had 100 toys donated, and this year they hope to double that numbers.

Those toys will then go to WAND's Spirit of Giving toy drive, which runs from 7am to 6pm Friday. All toys, in turn, go to children in need in Macon County.

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