Masonic Lodge in Eagle gears up for annual Christmas toy drive
Christmas Toy Store gives toys, bikes to kids who need them
- To help the Eagle Masonic Lodge with its annual holiday toy drive, contact Jon Asper at 970-977-6234.
EAGLE — The Castle Masonic Lodge in Eagle launched its annual toy drive this week to help make sure local children have something to smile about on Christmas.
The Castle Masonic Lodge’s Christmas Toy Store doesn’t sell anything. The Masons give toys to families and children in need — around 1,000 children every year. Most of the children are referred by local organizations.
To prepare, the Masons are collecting toys and money to buy toys.
Jon Asper has taken the lead on the Masonic Lodge’s Toy Store for more years than anyone can remember, including him. People ask him for all sorts of things, mostly help.
“They don’t need charity. They just need a little help,” Asper said.
The Masons and Asper don’t ask a lot of questions about why people need help. Sometimes folks just do, and that’s enough.
“You’d be shocked about who needs help with food or toys but doesn’t want to ask,” Asper said.
The Masons do it every year, quietly, or as quietly as they can when they’re collecting tens of thousands of dollars worth of toys, food and cash.
“We find ways to raise money so we can give it away,” Asper said. “We do all kinds of other things, too, and almost all of it’s geared toward helping people who need it.”
A few years back, the Masons added bicycles to the mix. They repair and tune up used bikes and then give them away to kids who need them.
Eagle County Schools added six mental health counselors and the district will add two more school resource officers, according to the school district’s 2019-2020 budget book. The district also aised starting pay and gave staffers a 2.3% cost-of-living raise.