W. Steven Martin Toy Drive is a gift to community - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

W. Steven Martin Toy Drive is a gift to community

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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2007 2:36 am | Updated: 7:41 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Becky, a single mom, worked hard every day so she could take care of her two young children, Christopher and Reagan.

Becky worked paycheck to paycheck so that she could pay her rent and buy groceries and other necessities. So during the Christmas holiday, she did not have enough money to buy presents for her children.

Now Becky knew Christmas is not about getting gifts, but she could not bear to tell her children why Santa did not leave any presents under the tree. Luckily, with the help of the W. Steven Martin Toy Drive, Becky got to see her children open presents on Christmas Day.

The W. Steven Martin Toy Drive is a nonprofit organization that each year allows police officers to help families in need and ensure that a child has a gift to open. Many police officers in the Valley every year pick toys and gifts for their adopted families who are struggling in their cities and on their beats. One can help the toy drive by donating money, volunteering time, or most importantly by donating toys and gifts.

By volunteering your time, you will help less fortunate children have a nice Christmas holiday. Children love ripping presents open on Christmas, but they cannot do that if they are not wrapped. You can volunteer and wrap items for children to open at Christmas. If you are unable to help wrap, then you can always donate a gift. One can also volunteer by going to the warehouse to sort toys by different age groups and gender. Sorting toys makes it easier for the officers to pick what toys they want for their adopted families. When officers go shopping for the gifts, you can volunteer and assist them in selecting the appropriate gift for each child selected. On the day of the event, they always serve a breakfast for the officers and their families. W. Steven Martin could always use volunteers to help provide and serve the food, and help clean up afterward.

The toy drive is always appreciative of money donated. By donating money you help the toy drive continue its success every year. The donations help W. Steven Martin rent the warehouse, which is important because it is where all the toys are stored. The money also provides the breakfast served. All those hardworking officers and families appreciate the breakfast in the morning.

The most important way to help the toy drive is by donating toys. Due to a recent recall of defective toys this year, the warehouse could lose half of the toys donated. It is really important that the warehouse has enough toys so that all children will have at least one gift to open on Christmas morning. One can buy gifts and drop them off at the warehouse.

Also, if one does not have time to do that, then the toys can be dropped off at the local toy bins that W. Steven Martin has set up at local stores and service stations.

Without the W. Steven Martin Toy Drive, Becky and many others would not have been able to see their children open gifts on Christmas morning. Also, it would not allow the community to see another side of police officers as they help out Santa Claus. I think the W. Steven Martin Toy Drive is a great organization and I would hate to see it close down because of a shortage in toys. Please help its continued success by volunteering your time, donating some money and especially by donating a new toy. With everyone taking part, the toy drive will continue to put smiles on children’s faces as they have a gift to open on Christmas morning.

Sabrina Polanco

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