The Placerville Christmas Parade may be over, but the Toys for Tots campaign is in full swing with lots more toys needed.
According to Sue Henderson, who with her husband Hollis coordinates the El Dorado County Toys for Tots campaign, 1,500 toys have been collected so far, but they need 15,000.
“Give me toys, lots of toys,” she laughed.
Excited to have collected around 250 toys during last Sunday’s Placerville Christmas Parade, Henderson said it was a big improvement over the two toys they collected last year after the parade was cancelled due to rain.
Explaining why they need so many, Henderson said they will give out about 4,000 toys through the Toys for Tots program but they also collect toys for other groups that give to local children including organizations working with foster children, Christmas on the Divide, the California Highway Patrol, local police and the Christmas giving tree.
“I want to thank everyone who has volunteered to help,” she said. “The kids really appreciate it and the parents too. Lots of groups volunteer and it feels good to be a part of it.”
Henderson reminded families interested in receiving a toy that they need to register first at their local elementary or middle school in El Dorado County.
The deadline for registering is Dec. 10, but Henderson said if a family hasn’t registered by then, they should just show up when the gifts are given out and they will help them with the paperwork. “We don’t turn anyone away,” she said.
Saying the need for the program is even greater this year, Henderson added she has received several heartbreaking e-mails from moms saying they can’t afford to buy their kids gifts because of a job loss or other circumstances. “One woman said she felt less of a mom because she couldn’t afford a gift for her son. But when I told her we’d be able to help, she told me, ‘You’ve really made my day.’”
Donated toys should be brand new, unwrapped and suitable for a boy or girl from birth to age 13.
Toys can be dropped off in collection boxes located at certain businesses and fire stations throughout the county. People can find a list of these locations by going to the Toys for Tots Website and clicking on the “Toy Drop Off” tab or by calling the Hendersons at 530-344-9384.
There will also be special fundraisers at the Belltower on Dec. 7-8 and at Creekside Place on Dec. 14-15 where people can drop off toys.
For those who would rather donate money instead, checks can be made out to Toys for Tots Campaign-EDC and mailed to PO Box 1592, Placerville, 95667.
Gifts will be given out to children on the afternoon of Dec. 14 and all day on Dec. 15 at Indian Creek School.
Help make Christmas just a little bit merrier by donating to Toys for Tots. Remember that for some child, your gift may be the only one they receive this Christmas.
If you need more information or if you want to hold a fundraiser of your own, please call Sue or Hollis Henderson at 530-344-9384 or e-mail them at [email protected]
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.