On December 15th the Foundation held its 9th Annual Christmas Toy Store. This year the Foundation collected over 3,000 brand new toys – in the 9 year history of this event this is the most toys we have ever collected. We are so humbled and grateful for our local community’s support. This event was lead by 4 Henderson High School Students Hugh McIntyre, Caitlyn Somers, Rachael Rementer, and Katie Ackerman who worked tirelessly the past few month with our Program Coordinator and Director – Julie and Niki to plan this awesome event. In addition to the toys they also collected over 400 winter coats and raffled off over 40 brand new bikes thanks to the generous efforts of Luke Hay and Hay Sealcoating.
This event was an invite only private event, the Foundation worked with school counselors in Chester to invite students in need to our Toy Store. When the child arrived to shop at the store – at their provided time slot, they were greeted by one of 100+ volunteers from the West Chester and Chester County area who worked through out the day, in 3 different shifts. We also had some of our amazing RISE students join us a volunteers this year, and we are so proud of their efforts to give back to their community. After being paired up with a personal shopper, the child was then taken back into the store to shop along side one of our volunteers. There they would spend their play money on gifts for themselves. Once they used up all their “money” the child was then taken to our Gift of Giving section of the store were they were able to shop for gifts for their parents or loved ones in their life and be able to also partake in the gift of giving to someone else. While the child was shopping the volunteer would take the child’s gifts to their guardian who would then take the toys to our wrapping station. There the toys would be wrapped by more of our wonderful volunteers, so the gifts could be placed under the tree for Christmas! Following their shopping experience the child could then enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, or write a letter to Santa and even mail it in our special north pole mailbox.
A special thank you goes to the amazing Men & Women’s Group’s at Christ Community Church that spent all morning the Thursday before the store sorting and organizing all 3,000 toys. They then packed up our truck for us to take down to Chester. Sorting and pricing out the toys is a large undertaking, and we are so grateful for their selfless help, year after year.
In addition to their help sorting, Christ Community Church and Hazley Builders graciously sponsored this event. With out their support this event would not be possible and we so appreciate their continued support.