Toy Donations Keep The Spirit Of Giving Alive As Toy Drive Raises Over 7000 Christmas Gift Donations
I do not think any of us could have imagined that we would receive over 7,000 toys this year. We are overwhelmed by joy because of the generosity of the people in our community.
The Winter storm last week prevented us from being able to pick up our 96 toy collection boxes (and toys) around Kitsap County. On Tuesday, three highly skilled “teams” of volunteers drove around Kitsap County to pick up the toy collection boxes and the toys. Each team had a designated route in Kitsap County.
Meet our Amazing Team of Drivers:
Team A: Port Orchard & Bremerton Route- Driven by Janis & Dave Gibbard. This amazing couple volunteered last year for us as well. Picking up the toy collection boxes is not always an easy task. Janis had to knock on windows to notify office staff that she was there at one of our sites. That takes initiative, creativity and gusto.
Team B: Silverdale Route- Driven by Rhandel, Zach & Noah Darner. This route picks up more boxes than any other route. One site had 6 of our toy collection boxes. Little Noah swears he carried 3 of them at one time.
Team C: North Kitsap Route- Driven by Wendy & Marcus Kile. This route has the most driving of our routes because it covers Kingston, Bainbridge and Poulsbo. This dynamic duo accomplished their route in record time, just under 4 hours.
Our 6x10 foot trailer was completely filled with toys which we brought to our warehouse space today. The trailer was so heavy we could actually feel the “weight” of the toys as we were driving. Several kids from our Kidzz Helping Kidzz Advisory Board met us at the warehouse and helped us to offload the huge bags of toys. Sometimes the bags of toys were so heavy, we needed two kids for each bag.
Our toy labeling, sorting and boxing party was a great success. We labeled and boxed 2,000 toys in a little over 60 minutes! The kids have become very proficient in this process.
Each toy is labeled with our Kids Helping Kidzz label which contains our logo and contact information. After the toys are labeled, they are carefully boxed.
Boxing the toys is much harder than labeling the toys. Those with good visual-spatial skills thrive on this work and have fun creating perfectly organized boxes.
Due to space constraints, we need to make sure the boxes can stack on one another.
Here is a video of the Kidzz after our toy sorting party.
With schools being closed all last week due to the Winter Storm, we had toys sitting in toy collection boxes at Central Kitsap High School that we could not pick up.
Katie Staker, a Science Teacher at CKHS offered to bring the toys (and the toy collection boxes) to us at our warehouse. She is pictured with the three toy collection boxes and the toys. Thank you, Katie, for your support of Kidzz Helping Kidzz!
We then received another toy delivery from Kathy Watson from the Port Orchard Beta Sigma Phi, an international service and social organization for women.
Kathy delivered toys to us a couple of weeks ago and was back again! We greatly appreciate their generous donation of games, stuffed animals and art supplies. Kathy has even offered to help us load our 26’ Uhaul truck next week before we deliver the toys to the hospitals.
We then received another request from Kaiser Urgent Care in Silverdale for more stuffed animals. We had delivered a large box of stuffed animals to them just two weeks ago, but with the increase in respiratory infections in their pediatric population, they had completely run out.
We were happy to bring joy to these ill children and delivered six large boxes of stuffed animals. The Kaiser staff showed us their newly created storage area for the Kidzz Helping Kidzz stuffed animals. Zach is pictured with Christina Gipson, Administrator at Kaiser.
Upon leaving Kaiser, Cristina left the most thoughtful card in my car. It read:
“Dear Kidzz Helping Kidzz,
We just wanted to thank you for your generous donations of stuffed animals to Silverdale Kaiser Urgent Care! Children are always excited and comforted to receive something soft and cuddly during their visit. Your contribution has brought so many smiles and we are very appreciative!” - Christina Gipson
“Thank you so much for your generous gift. Our kids have been so happy to get a soft little friend to comfort them during their visit. Thank you!” - Heidi Dixon
Keeping the Spirit of Giving Alive:
Next week will be a super exciting week for us as we will deliver the 7,018 toy drive toy donations to children at St. Michael Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
This is what we have been working towards since September. We are just hoping that they will all fit into our rented 26’ Uhaul trailer.
Stay tuned as we brighten the lives of thousands of ill children next week.
We are sincerely grateful for those who help make our Kidzz Helping Kidzz toy drives successful.