Local businesses, county services join forces for holiday toy drive

Rebecca Kasper, the manager of Stor-N-Lock in Gypsum passionately believes every child should have a toy to unwrap on Christmas morning.

In fact, she believes so strongly that she is doing something about it.

“Here in Eagle County, we have over 500 families who will be attempting to celebrate Christmas with no way to purchase toys for their children,” said Kasper.

With the blessing of her employer, Kasper reached out to Melissa Barbour of Eagle County Child Protective Services to launch a “Christmas Toys for Girls & Boys” program to address the community need.

“We are collecting new unwrapped toys,” said Kasper. Donations can be dropped off in brightly wrapped boxes located at several locations including Stor-N-Lock on Air Park Drive in Gypsum, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Eagle, Community Banks of Colorado locations, Edward Jones Kevin Brubeck and all Slifer, Smith and Frampton locations.

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Barbour noted that efforts by the Salvation Army and Adopt-A-Family reach many families during the holiday season, but the need extends even beyond what these programs provide. “There are income eligibility issues for some families,” she noted.

The idea behind this toy drive is simply to meet expressed needs without the necessity of paperwork. The toys will go to families that the county has identified as struggling a bit this Christmas. “We are in these people’s homes at least twice a month. We know these families very well and we know the need,” Barbour said.

For those who are thinking about donations, Kasper and Barbour noted that while younger children are easy to shop for, older kids also deserve a Merry Christmas. Gift cards — for local businesses, national retailers or internet retailers — are a big hit for teens.

Toys will be collected through Dec. 15 and the county services team will then gather the boxes and fill their lists. County workers will also deliver the presents.

“This is not a question of being wealthy or poor. Its a question of kids in our community having presents on Christmas morning,” said Kasper.

Any local businesses interested in serving as a collection point for the toy drive or who wants to make a cash donation for the program can contact Kasper at (970) 524-7867.

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