GOT TOYS? Yes we do
Toys for Tots won’t be operating in the Grand Valley this Christmas, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a toy drive to help those who are feeling the bite of the poor economy.
“Our goal is to make sure every child in the valley has toys,” said Gary Blackman, past-president of the Orchard Mesa Lions Club.
Eight area Lions Clubs, including seven in the Grand Valley and the club in Collbran, are teaming up with the Salvation Army to collect toys for kids.
“We’ll do as good or better (as in previous years) because we have so many people working on it,” Blackman said.
The Lions Clubs have already blanketed the Grand Valley with collection bins for toys. Look for them in all the usual places where Toys for Tots had barrels, as well as about 100 additional locations.
“We’ll collect the toys when they’re full,” Blackman said. “We have 400 members in the valley, so we’ll be able to keep tabs on the barrels.”
The Lions Clubs are confident that the community will step up and help fill the need, which is projected to be huge this holiday season. Toys should be new, unwrapped and in their original package. Club members will collect the toys by Dec. 15 and the toy giveaway will be on Dec. 16, which will give parents time to wrap the toys and have them under the tree for their children on Christmas.
Those who’d rather have a name and a specific wish can also brighten a child’s Christmas this year through the Salvation Army’s Giving Tree. Tags on the tree will include the child’s first name, age, gender, clothing size and toy preference. After purchasing the gift, givers should bring it back to the tree unwrapped, with the attached tag.
The Salvation Army is also passing out Christmas dinner boxes to needy families and will be in need of turkeys. Until now, donated turkeys have gone toward the Thanksgiving dinner at the Elks’ Lodge, so the turkey gauge is currently on empty.
As always, bell ringers will be out in full force this year, collecting money for ongoing programs. New coats, hats, scarves, mittens, pajamas and hooded sweatshirts are always welcome this time of year, while used coats can be donated to the thrift store.
“Food, toys and money that come in to Mesa County stays in Mesa County,” said Claudia Jackson with the Salvation Army.
This Christmas season, consider purchasing a toy for a child who may not have a merry Christmas without your help. Look for one of the 19 Giving Trees in various locations or look for one of the more than 200 toy barrels sponsored by the Lions Clubs of Grand Junction and Collbran and help make the season bright for everyone.