'Toys For Kids' brings Christmas joy seven years in a row
As a parent, it feels good to be able to give your children the gifts they want on Christmas. Unfortunately, not all families have the means to do this, especially in these hard economic times.
Luckily, there are people like Don Carroll who are here to look out for these children. He started Toys For Kids seven years ago as a way of "paying it forward."
“I lost my parents when I was 5 and people were very generous to me and my sister at Christmas time," Carroll said. "That’s something I never forgot. So, that’s why I do it.”
He collects money year round to plan for the holiday season. He has been collecting gifts, monetary donations, and has even been getting some help from a collection jar full of change at Clor’s Meat Market. Each year he organizes a solid routine to prepare for the toy drive.
“The way our program is set up is that we go shopping with the money that has been donated. This year we’re probably going to spend a little over $7,000 on buying gifts for the kids. Then we’ll wrap all of the presents the day before. On Sunday, the 20th we invite the families to the Y at noon and we have Santa Claus come, and we provide a hot meal and we give out the gifts. We give out some of the gifts there and we give gifts to the parents to give to the kids at Christmas time."
This year, there are more families in need than ever, so all donations are graciously accepted.
“We’ve helped a lot of people like mothers who have a lot of kids or grandmothers who are raising their grandkids, and there are working parents who don’t make a lot of money. We get the names of the families from schools, churches and the YMCA.”
If you’re not able to donate gifts or money to the cause, you are welcome to donate your time. The event is expected to be pretty large and all volunteers can be put to good use.
“We’re putting out a sign-up list that’s going to be at the Y for people who want to help us wrap gifts on the 19th. Also, on the 20th we’ll need people to help parents put gifts in their cars and we’ll need help serving food.”
All gifts and cash donations will be accepted at the Batavia YMCA until Saturday, Dec. 19. Checks can be made out to the YMCA including “Toys for Kids” on the memo line. Anyone who is interested in volunteering their time can sign up there also.
The YMCA is located at 209 E. Main St. Phone is 344-1664.