Toy Drive will again allow parents to ‘shop’ for kids

The annual Kiwanis Toy Drive is under way, and donation boxes are set out in several businesses, ready for donations.

Organizers plan to offer a store atmosphere again this year for parents in need to select donated items for their children. They did so last year for the first time, and organizers said it went well.

“The store was very successful,” said Joyce Smith, who has been involved with the drive for many years. “People were able to get what they wanted or what their children wanted. It’s personal when parents or guardians pick it out themselves.”

For the past three years, the drive has provided Christmas gifts to about 225 island children, and Joyce said she expects that will be true again this year. Organizers will offer parents or guardians in need the chance to “shop” for their children between infancy and age 18 and are hoping there will be enough donated items for them to select two complete outfits, two toys or games and a pair of pajamas for each child.

Islanders always step up to make the toy drive a success, Smith said, and she is counting on that again this year. Already, she noted, businesses and organizations are providing support, with Island Lumber collecting donations for the drive on its recent Ladies’ Night. True Value will offer an additional discount at its Black Friday event to customers who donate to the drive, and the Quartermaster Yacht Club selected the drive as the  beneficiary of its Christmas brunch. Additionally, Skanska, the contractor building the new high school, will donate to the drive again this year, Smith said.

The deadline to donate gift items and money is Dec. 13, Smith said. Donation bins are located at a variety of businesses in the heart of town as well as The Harbor Mercantile in Burton. Checks can be sent to Kiwanis, PO Box 262, Vashon, and marked for the toy drive.

Toy drive store hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at the former Island Variety store at Vashon Plaza. These days are one week later than originally planned because of a facility scheduling conflict.



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