Local toy drive makes sure no child slips through the cracks this holiday
GYPSUM — Come Christmas morning, every child deserves to open a present.
That’s the thought that motivates Rebecca Kasper, the manager of Stor-N-Lock in Gypsum, as she oversees the third annual Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys toy drive.
“The program as been so wonderful. Everybody has just put forth such a tremendous effort,” said Kasper.
The program partners with Eagle County Child Protective Services to make sure no local child goes without a present at Christmas. Because the county services personnel work with families and visit homes, its employees have a good idea of local need. But until the toy drive was launched in 2014, the county didn’t have a way to address it.
“They don’t have a program in Eagle County that buys Christmas presents for kids that they work with. They are kids who might slip through the cracks,” said Kasper.
Efforts by the Salvation Army and Adopt-A-Family reach many families during the holiday season, but the need extends beyond what these programs provide. Kasper said the idea behind this 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 a bit this Christmas. Kasper also 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.
“People sometimes ask if they can just give cash or a check, but we asked that individuals don’t make cash or check donations,” she said. “But gift cards are a great option.”
Beyond the tangible presents they receive, Kasper hopes that kids who are touched by the Christmas Toys for Girls and Boys program feel cared for this holiday.
“To me, it’s about these local kids having the opportunity to have a little bit of joy on Christmas morning and feel some love from their neighbors,” said Kasper.
Donations can be dropped off at Edward Jones, Slifer Smith and Frampton and Alpine Bank locations valleywide. Additionally, toys will be collected at the Stor-N-Lock office south of the Eagle County Regional Airport and at the Gypsum Recreation Center. Toys will be collected through Thursday and the county services team will then gather the boxes and fill their lists. County workers will deliver the presents.
Any local business interested in helping to collect toys or making a donation for the program can contact Kasper at 970-524-7867.