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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Toy Trouble in T-Town: Kids Left Empty-handed

If all those grateful stuffed animals and dolls saved by Tacoma's Toy Rescue Mission in the past 20 years could put on red capes and fly in to save the day, they would. The puzzles are puzzled, the trains feel derailed, and little dump trucks are down in the dumps. And if that isn't bad enough, think how the kids will feel. What happened?

Maybe we all took it for granted that Toy Rescue Mission would be there forever, making sure local kids had gifts on birthdays and holidays. What the folks at TRM do might seem like magic, but behind it all is money. Right now that's running out. Thanks to the economy, Toy Rescue Mission faces its final days at the end of this Christmas season unless something miraculous happens. That's right folks. It looks like the lid on the world's biggest toy box will slam shut forever.

"We are seeking volunteer help one last time to make this the BEST Christmas Distribution TRM has ever seen," says TRM's President, Karol Barkley. "I don't need to tell you that, due to the economy, parents have lost jobs, incomes have decreased, as family needs continue to rise. Let's not let the devastating effects of this economy affect the joy that our community's children look forward to...especially at Christmas time!"

Just as all those dolls with missing arms, cars without wheels, and kids without toys have needed Toy Rescue Mission, now TRM needs us. Here Karol suggests some specific ways you can help:

  1. Volunteer to be on our Christmas Committee (we will probably only have ONE meeting (Oct. 6th); the rest will be done by phone/email.
  2. Volunteer to help at any of our distributions (Dec. 1st-12th).
  3. Volunteer to host a Christmas toy drive (new toys only, please) at your church or workplace, etc.
  4. Volunteer to coordinate our Christmas Sleigh drawing fundraiser (simply requires sending out emails asking for each TRM supporter to donate ONE Christmas item to fill our sleigh, and request all items to be dropped off at TRM.
  5. Volunteer to collect cash donations from friends, family, coworkers, church members, clubs, etc. to help us purchase new items especially for our teens (10-15 years). (Donations of "gently-used" items are especially difficult to get for this age group, so this part of our inventory is low)!
  6. Volunteer to recruit a group of people to come to TRM the weekend of Nov. 20-22 to help decorate and prepare our Distribution Site for Christmas!

Surely, there is SOMETHING here each reader can help with.

"The last thing we will need before closing our doors is volunteers throughout the month of January to help us through the painful closing process," Karol say. "None of us have ever done this before (we've always been in the "building," not "tearing down" mode), nor had any extra time to spend exploring the ins and outs of closing an agency. If anyone has experience in this area, their assistance would be greatly appreciated."

Thank you for your past loyal support and any you can now give!

Karol Barkley, President
253-565-6201/ cell: 226-8359

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