Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys making sure all Vail Valley kids enjoy a merry Christmas | VailDaily.com

Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys making sure all Vail Valley kids enjoy a merry Christmas

The folks behind Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys pose with the event banner at Stor-N-Lock in Gypsum. Shown, from left, are Amy Goddard, Rosa Gamboa and Rosa Martinez, of Eagle County Child Protective Services; event organizer Rebecca Kaspar and Kevin Brubeck, of Edward Jones in Eagle, one of the collection points.

GYPSUM — Judging by his personal experience hosting a business drop-off point for the Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys program, Kevin Brubeck believes the holiday spirit is alive and well in the Vail Valley.

For the past couple of years, Brubeck's Edward Jones office in Eagle has put out a big collection box, and by the time crews come to pick it up, the donations are overflowing.

"When people come in the door to do business, they see the collection box and it's like a light comes on in their minds and their hearts," Brubeck said. "People don't hold back because they want to make sure all kids have a happy Christmas."

That's the simple goal that prompted Rebecca Kasper, of Stor-N-Lock in Gypsum, to launch the program five years ago. Since she started the program, Kasper said she has been amazed by the community's generosity.

Remembering all kids at Christmas

Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys partners with Eagle County Child Protective Services to make sure no local child goes without a present at Christmas. Efforts by the Salvation Army and Adopt-A-Family reach many families during the holiday season, but the need extends beyond what these programs can provide.

Recommended Stories For You

"Because personnel from our office are in the homes, we know where the need is," said Amy Goddard, an Eagle County case worker.

Case workers also have a good handle on age-appropriate gifts for local families.

Until the toy drive was launched in 2013, the county didn't have a way to address the fact that not all local families can afford gifts at Christmas. The first year for Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys, 500 local kids were served and that figure has only grown with time.

One of the hallmarks of Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys is its simplicity. Kasper said the idea behind the toy drive is to meet expressed needs without the necessity of paperwork. The toys will go to families that the county has identified as struggling this Christmas.

"We have done everything we can to make this as easy as possible," Kasper said.

Parents have the option of having wrapped presents delivered to the home, or having unwrapped toys and gift wrap provided. That gives them a chance to personalize gifts.

Beyond dolls and trucks

Shopping for a toy drive is fun. It gives everyone the opportunity to check out the season's toy aisle selections, even if the kids in your family have outgrown them.

But young kids aren't the only ones who deserve a gift under the tree.

The toy drive also accepts teen-appropriate donations and items such as movie tickets or gift cards are gratefully received.

"We have found that when teens get items like that, they often share them with their families," Kasper said. "It goes to prove that those who don't have much are the first ones to share."

The Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys drive will run through Monday, Dec. 17. After that date, volunteers will pick up the donations and begin the work of distributing them to local families.

"We always ask families if they would like to receive these gifts and we don't just assume they need them," Goddard said. "This really does mean a lot to the families we help."

It also means a lot to the people who donate, Brubeck said.

"We are so blessed to live here in this valley. We want to make sure it's a blessed holiday for everyone," he said.

Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys locations

The following locations are some of the collection points for this year’s toy drive:

Stor-N-Lock

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Alpine Bank locations

Edward Jones in Eagle and Gypsum

Napa Auto Parts

Mountain Mobile Veterinary

Nearly Everything Store/Batson’s Corner

Yeti’s Grind

Endorphin

Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate offices

CNC Automotive

Vail Brewing Company

Bring a toy, hoist a brew…

On Saturday, Dec. 15, Vail Brewing Company is hosting a special soiree to help Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys.

An Ugly Christmas Sweater party is planned at Vail Brewing Company in Eagle-Vail for patrons to don their signature holiday wear and bring a toy or donation.

Vail Brewing Compnay has its donation box all set up and ready to receive new, unwrapped toys for the children of our valley. The toy drive only accepts hard goods but Vail Brewing Company will accept cash donations in order to purchase toys. However, toys in hand are preferred and remember, gift cards are great for kids aage 12 and older.