Toys for Tots Moving Operations Site

Toys for Distribution

Toys for Distribution

Toys for Tots is moving their annual toy collection and distribution operation to the former Lincoln School.  Several weeks ago, Toys for Tots director, Darlene Lopez, was seeking a new location as the spare rooms at the Prowers County Annex may be earmarked as the future offices for a potential child help hot line operating in Colorado.  Lopez and her crew of volunteers have used the Annex rooms for the past several years to hold and sort through all the donated toys for her Prowers County project. “It’s going to go awesome!” exclaimed Lopez when asked about the new site.  She was also expressing an amount of relief combined with happiness that a site had been found, now that the Toys for Tots group is preparing for their annual collection and distribution project.

Carla Scranton, the office manager of PCDI, suggested the former Lincoln Elementary School, which has headquartered the Partners for HOPE Center, as a potential site.  The new location will be a natural fit, as all of Lopez’s operation can remain at one location instead of moving all the bagged toys to Lamar Middle School during the Christmas holiday break.  In years past, the toys would be grouped in the school’s cafeteria for distribution as all the meals for the free Christmas dinner were being cooked and sorted to accompany the toys on December 24.  Now that the dinners have been discontinued, the coordination and distribution will take place without having to be transported to a separate location.

“I’m thinking about how the parking and loading of the cars will be different from the plan we developed at the Middle School,” she said. New logistics will have to be developed with the new location.  At this point, Lopez is looking at setting up the toy drop off points for another year.  “We’ve added Deloaches, so that will be a help, and I’m sure that Wal-Mart will let us set up boxes,” she noted.

Lopez said she had a core group of five volunteers that has been with her for several years. “I believe we had about 900 families that had toys delivered last year in the county.  That number always seems to grow,” Lopez said.  She thought that some of the older students at Lincoln School in the Project HOPE program would be able to volunteer with sorting the toys that come in.  As ever, Toys for Tots would like any toy donation to come in unwrapped.  “We accept clean used toys that are in working order and brand new toys would be a dream,” she said, adding, “We won’t take any clothing, just toys only, please.”  Lopez noted that each year she receives toys she just throws away because they’re broken beyond repair or just too dirty to use as a gift.  “If you wouldn’t want to give it to your child, please don’t drop it off to us,” she remarked during last year’s drive.

Lopez said her group will run a Bingo night fundraiser at the Lamar Elks Lodge on Thursday, November 20. If anyone needs information on the Toys for Tots group, contact her at 688-0167.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEntertainmentFeaturedGranadaHistoryHollyLamarProwers CountySchoolWileyYouth


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