‘Tis the season to brighten a child’s holiday by dropping off new, unwrapped gifts for the annual Toy Drive, sponsored by John L. Scott.
For over 30 years, the real estate agency has been leading the annual Toy Drive to benefit island children and youth.
In an interview with The Beachcomber, Heidi Grimsley, a John L. Scott realtor who is leading the drive, feels lucky to be able to support this community initiative.
“A successful community depends on the time, energy, creativity and generosity from its members,” Grimsley wrote in an email to The Beachcomber.
This year, Grimsley hopes to surpass the number of gifts received from last year, which was the Toy Drive’s best year ever. Last year, the agency was able to provide 162 children with three gifts each as well as stocking stuffers, she said.
The Toy Drive’s goal this year is to receive 500 gifts, according to Grimsley. Popular gift items include Lego and Duplo blocks for younger children; sports equipment like soccer, footballs and basketballs or arts and crafts sets for older children; warm hats and gloves for children of all ages; and electronics and personal items, such as hair curlers or cosmetics, for teen boys or girls. Gift cards are always popular as well, Grimsley said.
Our Community Credit Union and The Country Store are two of the new locations islanders will see dropoff boxes for the Toy Drive. Other locations for drop boxes include Ace Hardware Store, The Pharmacy, Thriftway, Island Lumber Home Center, the Fire Department and The Eagles.
The Ruby Brink will be hosting an event in honor of the Toy Drive. From 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, 100% of profits from beverage sales will be donated to the Toy Drive. A gift wreath will also be placed in the restaurant with gift requests.
Jake Heil, co-owner of the Ruby Brink, spoke with The Beachcomber about how his business got involved in the Toy Drive and why he thinks it’s such a good cause.
“Heidi asked us and we pretty immediately said ‘yes,’” Heil said, adding that one of his favorite things about the Ruby Brink space is that they can foster community activities.
Diners who bring back a gift from the wreath will be treated to a warm cup of broth as a thank you for donating to the community, according to Heil.
In addition to toys, clothing, electronics and gift cards, there are also some high-end gifts donated by community members that will be raffled off during the time when children select their gifts. Each family will receive a raffle ticket the day of the event, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at the old K2 building. Last year, a drone and two bicycles were part of the bounty raffled off to participating families.
Cash donations are welcomed as well, with a GoFundMe page set up to collect money for Vashon Youth and Family Services. The goal is $5,000.
Look for the bell-ringers and toy drive volunteers in front of local businesses. They will also be out and about during the Winterfest celebration on Saturday, Dec. 7.
For more information about the Toy Drive or to donate, contact Grimsley at 206-567-1600 or email email@example.com.