“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~ Dr. Seuss
The financial strain for many families to put food on the table and shoes on growing feet too often leaves little leftover for presents under the tree. In its 23rd year, Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles is continuing to work year-round to gather toys, raise funds and rally practical support for gifts that will be shared with neighboring families.
Toy Bank estimates that in 2017, a total of 587 families and 1,300 children will participate in the Day of Giving distribution on December 16 at the Paso Robles Event Center in cooperation with Coats for Kids and Salvation Army.
Early November, 100 containers with the Toy Bank logo are placed all over town to receive unwrapped toy donations. If a business wants to participate, the Toy Bank can be reached by calling (805) 423-1272.
“It takes scores of volunteers and 8,000 hours of work throughout the year to make it successful,” said longtime board member Bill Pluma. “On the Day of Giving, we distribute a succession of boxes to 30 families every 15 minutes. Toys for boys and girls ages 0-12 years are needed, but the gaps we see most are within the 8-12 age range.”
To ensure the best results for distribution on the Day of Giving, families are urged to pre-register early at Plymouth Congregational Church at 13th and Oak Street in Paso Robles between November 15-29. To qualify, applicants must live within Paso Robles, San Miguel, Bradley, Shandon or Heritage Ranch with photo ID, proof of current address, income, and birth certificates for each child.
Bill described the awkwardness that kids can experience after Christmas, when friends converse about what they each received. Many are not so fortunate. Bill believes that the experience of receiving enables children to learn about helping others.
“Toy Bank invests in the students’ future,” said Bill. “If they remember there’s a group to help them that gives them toys and school supplies, they remember that and learn how to give, too.
To donate funds, checks can be made payable to Toy Bank of Greater Paso Robles and mailed to PO Box, Paso Robles, CA 93447. Cash collection banks will also be placed in businesses throughout the area. Toy Bank of Paso Robles is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax-deductible. Tax ID: 77-0385525.
“The Toy Bank would like to thank everyone who has made donations over the last 23 years,” said Bill. “We are grateful for the community support that helps us help families in need.”