Before Trystany Capozi was 8 years old, money wasn't a big worry for her. Not until Christmastime that year.


"Christmas is my very favorite day. I love everyone in my family being happy, everyone smiling and singing," Capozi said via e-mail. "But I was sad when I saw my friends at school with no toys. They told me their parents have no money, so I gave them my presents from Santa Claus. I didn't need them; I play too much. My brother says I'm crazy, but he's crazy."


Two years later, she's still at it.


Trystany's Toy Drive formally began last year, when Capozi was a 3rd grader at Hollyvale Elementary School. The drive provided toys to 98 families. This year, Capozi and her father Angelo hope to help 2,000 for the not-for-profit organization.


"My dad says helping get toys and the toy drive are very good things," Capozi said. "We help lots of girls and boys."


Flyers around the High Desert have solicited both donations and asked those in need to fill out their names and the ages and sexes of their children, up through age 13 (three years older than those served by Toys for Tots).


"Mom asked me what I want for Christmas, but I don't know; I'm happy with any present. My two best friends want Moon Sand. I wish, I dream the toy store will give a big, big box of toys or an adult who has no kid can give me lot of money a lot so I can go to the toy store. I buy all the toys."


Last year, Capozi, the self-described "boss" of the operation, picked out a lot of dolls, cars and playhouses. Despite her age, she is already figuring out ways to get the most and best toys with the money her toy drive has collected.


"Dad tells me to be happy, that I did a good job," Capozi said. "And I am."


Toys can be dropped off at boxes at Little Caesars in Hesperia, Victorville and Adelanto. Collection boxes are also located at Hi Desert Plan Room, A&L Builders Supply, Richie's Diner, Mojave Chiropractor and The Tire Man in Victorville. Donations can also be made at Anderson's True Value and Apple Valley Auto Clinic in Apple Valley.


To make cash donations or for more information about Trystany's Toy Drive, call 887-2714.


Capozi is deaf and her first language is American Sign Language, which has its own grammar and syntax. Her comments in this story have been translated into American English.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.