Last December, an Orange County mom braved the cold and joined hundreds of parents and guardians in a long line that snaked around the Orange County Department of Social Services Center. They had lined up—some as early as 5 a.m.—to participate in DSS’s annual Toy Chest event, which gives county parents an opportunity to choose Christmas gifts for their children. To say she was grateful for the opportunity is an understatement.
“I was amazed and humbled by the number of people who walked through the rooms full of gifts,” she wrote in a letter to the department. “As a result of your generosity, my son received several gifts that remain his favorites—including a book that we’ve read together hundreds of times, sometimes more than six times a day.
“I wanted to take the chance to say thank you to everyone who helped give huge smiles to hundreds of Orange County children.”
This year, the department plans to continue giving smiles to thousands of underprivileged county children. But we need your help. The Toy Chest, which is coordinated in partnership with the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program and local community donors, last year collected more than 6,700 toys for almost 3,200 children. This year, given the current economic climate, the department anticipates an even greater need. Your involvement could mean the difference in one family’s holiday.
The department is seeking organizations that will collect toys, donate money or volunteer at the Toy Chest event, which will run from Dec. 17 to 20 at the Orange County Department of Social Services Center in Hillsborough. DSS representatives will make arrangements to drop off and pick up any donation boxes.
Monetary donations using credit or debit cards can be made on the Toys for Tots website, and individuals who want to drop off a gift can find Toys for Tots box locations on the site as well. You can also submit a check or cash donation to the DSS Center, P.O. Box 8181, Hillsborough, NC, 27378. If you would like more information or would like to volunteer, please call Rebekah Clairmont or Sharron Hinton at (919) 245-2800.