The Community Toy Store has completed its third year of service to the community at large, thanks in large part to neighbors and neighborhood institutions that have an invested interest in helping families through the holidays. Wanting to provide a help up instead of a hand out.
You see, typically the way community responds to need during the Christmas season is to give things away, especially toys. Families in need are given toys for their children which makes the children happy but leaves the parents with a feeling of low self worth.
Our goal through the toy store has always been to provide a way in which parents can provide toys for their children but at a reduced cost. We take brand new donated toys and sell them at 70% of there purchase price. All of the proceeds then go to two non-profits that are already working with many of these families, The Whatcom Dream (Teaches financial skills classes to poverty families) and Rebound of Whatcom County (Works with at risk youth, single moms, and low income families).
So, by design the Community Toy Store not only helps low income or financially struggling families through the Christmas season but also completes the cycle of neighbors and neighborhood institutions coming together.
The planning for the Toy Store began in earnest towards the end September with the church (Roosevelt Community Church and Northwest Community Church) partnering with Rebound to make the Community Toy Store bigger and better than ever before.
Over a dozen neighborhood institutions (from churches to the Prosecutors Office to Starbucks) working to collect toys, a neighborhood private school donating the space to host the Toy Store, a neighborhood church donating its basement to store the toys leading up to the Toy Store, over $6,000 in toys donated, 35 volunteers logging collectively over 200 hours to make the Community Toy Store a reality. We served over 80 families on a Friday night and Saturday morning.
Some of the highlights:
One single mom was so excited that she was able to provide toys for her two children that she stayed an additional hour after she was done shopping so that she could volunteer as a gift wrapper. In fact, we had at least three moms that shopped at the Community Toy Store and then volunteered in whatever capacity they could. One single mom remarked “Without this I wouldn’t be able to provide for my family.” Another couple commented “We can’t wait until we are in a position (financially) to donate to the Community Toy Store because it has meant so much to us over the last couple years.”
Baron Miller – Roosevelt Community Church Pastor