For the past year Allison, Eva and I have set aside $10 a month to buy toys. The toys are not for Eva, they are not even for me. No, these toys are for a special event that happens each year, the Christmas is for Kids Toy Drive. My friend Sarah Achin of Achin’s garage and her family put on this wonderful toy drive to help out Christmas is for Kids, a local charity that collects money and toys, new and unwrapped, and distributes them to local children.
Last year I participated in a sponsored conversation on behalf of Sears through the company IZEA. It was part of the Sears Grant a Wish program. We were given $100 to use to go to Sears. We decided to spend the whole $100 on toys for Christmas is for Kids. We wanted to keep doing this every year so that Eva could understand the importance of helping out people who were less fortunate. She’s just turned two so she’s not catching on just yet, but we figure if we do this every year she will see this as a fun activity to look forward to and may even decide to save a little of her own money to buy one of the special gifts.
We knew that we weren’t going to be able to pull together $120.00 on a whim so the idea of the $10 a month thing is what saved us. I just set up a payee in Microsoft money and each month when I got paid $10 would automatically get added to the total. We did this to raise money for Eva’s Farm and donations to Heifer International and a donation to my high school.
So, after our haircuts in the morning (we all got them from Amanda who is awesome and she donated her tips form us to Christmas is for Kids) we went to Target and picked up a bunch of toys for the toy drive.
It was really fun going up and down the aisle with a good budget and an eye for bargains. We tried for a good mix of boys and girls toys (although I could have stayed with the $10 transformers for a while, we got 2 of those) and I think we succeeded in doing that. We made the trip around the store a little event. We got popcorn and walked the aisle deliberately and looked at what we thought would be some great gifts. We also picked up Eva’s Christmas gift (separately from the Christmas is for Kids stuff of course). We picked her up the Disney Princesses 7 doll pack and a Tinkerbell giant coloring book. Eva’s told me on more than one occasion how much she likes playing princesses with me.
We loaded up the car and brought everything over to the drop off point. The trunk was full because there was also the big box that I had received from the Relay for Life raffle. I took a few of the toys I wanted from that prize and then gave all the rest to Christmas is for Kids. At the drop off zone it was cold and rainy, the weather does not seem to want to cooperate at all for this even year after year. Despite the rain there were a bunch of people there and and the pile of toys was pretty decent. They had Wally the Green Monster and also Pat the Patriot there for pictures. Unfortunately, they were on break right as we got there and we had to get back to the house to help Dad bring in the Christmas Tree so we didn’t get photos with them.
There is always next year.
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