It was early November when we started receiving messages and emails from community members informing us that Toys for Tots was not operating within our county, Cumberland County, this holiday season. Knowing the impact that that program has for kids and knowing what it meant to not have it, we decided as a team to get involved and help.
We quickly put together a form for families to request toys and let us know what their kids wanted for Christmas. We started to publicize our drive, create drop-off locations, fundraise, and more to make this happen in less than two months. Before we knew it, we collected tons of toys, raised over $1,000 to purchase toys, had almost 200 individual requests from families, and were well on our way to making the holiday season a little brighter in our county.
We held an event the weekend before Christmas where people who requested toys could pick them up and also for the community to walk-in and pick up things for their children. We filled about 200 specific requests for toys and also gave out another 200 toys to families that came in on that day. We were fortunate enough to have about 50 extra board games and toys to also donate to our local family shelter.
This toy drive went from an idea to a successful reality in less than two months because of the dedication of our staff and volunteers. We are looking forward to expanding to make our toy drive in 2020 even larger to farther our reach and help our community members!