On December 17, the Andrew L. Hicks Jr. Foundation graciously took over the Chester Community Charter School’s gymnasium to hold its 7th Annual Toy Store. Over 2,700 toys were collected from the West Chester community and even New Jersey over the past month and 463 Chester children were individually selected and invited to take part in the Toy Store. Over 150 volunteers came out on Saturday to help run the Toy Store, participating in various roles from Personal Shoppers, to Inventory Workers or Gift Wrappers . It was a wonderful event full of the Christmas spirit!
The Toy Drive was the grad project of three Henderson seniors Sam Kammerer, Zach Roberts, and Catherine Saulino (pictured above respectively). They have been planning and meeting for the past two months and working extremely hard to guarantee the success of this large undertaking of an event.
After weeks of collecting toys from so many gracious donors, all of the toys were taken to Christ Community Church the Thursday before the Toy Store. The church’s men’s group unloaded all of the toys into the church lobby, then the women’s group spent Friday morning unpacking, sorting, and pricing all 2,000+ toys, and then reloaded the truck to ensure a smooth setup the day of the Store. The Foundation cannot thank Christ Community enough for all of their help.
On the day of the Toy Store, despite snowy-icy conditions, all the volunteers showed up at 8am ready to go to work! Everyone unloaded and set up the store in no time! And were ready to go when the first group of children came in to shop at 9:30am. Each child was given $12 of play money to “shop” in the store where toys were priced ranging from $1-$5, and they each had their own Personal Shopper with them to help them make their purchases. After they picked their toys they took them to the wrapping station where their parents had their gifts wrapped up for Christmas. While that was happening the Personal Shopper took the child to the “Mom’s Gift” section to pick out gifts for their mother and grandmothers.
There were three shifts of volunteers who kept the store running all day and kept the store restocked with plenty of toys for various age groups coming in to shop every half hour. There was even a hot chocolate and cookie station to enjoy during the event. The Foundation is so incredibly grateful to everyone who donated wonderful toys for these children and to all the volunteers who helped make this all possible. It does cost a good bit of money to put on an event like this, over and above the cost of the toys themselves. This year’s Toy Store was generously sponsored by a West Chester couple. The Foundation sincerely thanks Michael and Denny Morton for their generous donation which made the Toy Store possible! In addition, It takes a lot of people for an event like this to run so smoothly and we are incredibly thankful for all of our wonderful volunteers!
Michael and Denny Morton
Christ Community Church
Chester Community Charter School