Making Christmas happier for 3 families

As you know I am very in to helping others any way I can. I have a friend who takes it up a notch.

He mentioned on Facebook the other day that he read an article in USA Today about Layaway Angels. If you go to Toys R Us and pay off someone’s layaway balance Toys R Us will donate $200 to Toys for Tots. It’s a win-win-win!

My friend James went to a Toys R Us in Tucson and and asked the clerk what layaway had been there the longest. There was one from October with a $22 balance. He paid it and got to hear the clerk call the woman to tell her to pick up her toys. He could overhear the woman on the other end yelling for joy.

This is also happening at Kmart and Walmart (and I am sure other retailers as well).

From the USA Today article: Lisa Dietlin, a Chicago philanthropic adviser and author, says many Americans “are turning away from the traditional commercialism of the holidays,” and are “instead asking, ‘How can I help those in need?’”

This never occurred to me. And I just think it is great.

I am in Tucson … Continue reading

Shopping for toys

Today I worked on the Heart Challenge part of Go Fit Girl!’s December Monthly Challenge.

I run the toy drive (and food drive) at work. To get more donations I offer to take others’ money and go shopping on their behalf.

So today my co-worker/friend Alonzo and I jumped into the work truck and took a trip to Target.

As I have said previously my company is supporting Toys for Tots this year.

I like to take the monetary donations and focus on donations toward older kids. Those items are more expensive and are donated a lot less. I personally hate buying baby toys and toys that make noise. So I try to avoid those anyway.

I went to the FAQ page on the Toys for Tots website and found an answer to this question: Pre-teen/teens are groups for which shopping is especially difficult.  Do you have any ideas?

Answer: The Foundation does purchase supplemental toys/gifts for our campaign sites and focuses on these age groups.  In the past, items purchased for these groups have included, but are not limited to:  sporting equipment/bags/balls; books, backpacks, cosmetics, purses, watch/wallet gift sets, bath gift sets, board games, radio control cars/trucks, … Continue reading

A little history lesson on Toys for Tots

As you have read before, I run the food drive and toy drive at work.

When my company was still in Emeryville (where Pixar is located) I worked with an Emeryville organization called ECAP for the toy drive and food drive.

Because employees live all over the Bay Area we felt it was best to support the community we worked in.

Now that we are in South San Francisco we support organizations in San Mateo County. For the food drive I work with Second Harvest and for the toy drive I work with Toys for Tots.

Since the toy drive recently launched someone inquired how the Marines got involved in Toys for Tots. So, of course, that inspired a post.

I did a little research and found some information on Wikipedia.

You can read the whole history in the link I provided above.

But here’s the quick and dirty: In 1947 a Marine’s wife wanted to donate a homemade doll to a needy kid. But she couldn’t find an organization in which to do so. The Marine gathered a group of reservists to collect toys in Los Angeles. The next year it became a national campaign.

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