Christmas is the time of year that people really take into consideration just how important a little giving can bring a lot of cheer in someone’s life.
For those in the foster care system, this definitely applies to children who can be as young as a baby, all the way through to the teenage years.
Each year, a local non-profit foster agency known as A New Leaf, Inc. hosts a Toy Drive to get the community involved in helping out over 300 children in the community.
“Many of the children we support have not enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, have not woken up to presents under the tree, and are not able to be with their parents on Christmas Day. Our toy drive helps bring joy to the children we support and helps our foster families create those special holiday memories for those most in need.” Courtney Caudill, of A New Leaf Inc. shared about the story behind the Toy Drive for their foster families, continuing on to say: “As we continued to grow each year and saw the community always growing, we decided to contact local businesses in hopes of holding a toy drive to help make it even more special for the families.”
They have organized a holiday party for the last seventeen years for their families, but the toy drive itself has only been happening for the last eight years in the community.
Courtney took me on a tour of their gift station area – which was filled with toys, and gifts for a wide variety of ages – and this wasn’t even including what was still out in the donation boxes at various businesses in the community.
“Each year we are amazed at the outcome of our toy drive, and it continues growing each year.” Courtney enthused.
Last year they received an estimated 500 gifts for over 300 children, each child receiving at least 3-4 gifts. A New Leaf, Inc. wraps each gift item they receive and gives them to families at the holiday party they host each year.
Courtney stated that one of the best things about the entire had to be: “Seeing the community work together and the excitement they have to help children who have been through so much is always one of our favorite parts! But the end result is always the best because you cannot beat seeing the smile that each child has on their face during our holiday party!”
When touring their gift station, I commented on the number of gifts they had received – but Courtney pointed out that their mission was far from fulfilled – as they were in need of gift items for their youngest and oldest receivers.
“We get a lot of toys for younger children, but are always short on teen and infant items.”
For those in their teenage years, Courtney suggests picking out gifts such as: Perfume/Cologne, Makeup, Journals/Diaries, Team Memorabilia, AirPods, Headphones, Beanbags, Gift cards, Digital Cameras, Spy Gear, Footballs, Basketballs, Lego sets, remote control vehicles, Watches, Jewelry, Cross-body purses/bags, Make-up brushes, etc.
While the time to shop for gifts and donate to the local gift boxes around town is coming close, you still have time!
“It’s not too late to participate! Our toy drive will be ending December 2nd this year, so we can have time to sort, shop, and wrap each gift.” Courtney shared.
There are several ways you can donate to their Toy Drive, including:
- Donating New, Unwrapped Toys
If you would like to help by donating new, unwrapped toys you can call their office at (740) 420-0700 or email [email protected] to make arrangements for them to come to you or you can drop them off at their office, which is located 221 Tarlton Road, Circleville, Ohio 43113.
- Shopping On Their Amazon Wish List
You can also make a purchase from “A New Leaf Toy Drive wish list” on Amazon.com Wish List, and they will ship it directly to them!
- Shopping Small
However, A New Leaf, Inc. would love if you shopped & supported local businesses!
“We currently have16 businesses that are participating in our toy drive!” Courtney explained.
The businesses include:
– Goodwin’s Family Restaurant
– Apple Ridge Apartments
– Balestra, Harr & Scherer CPAs, Inc.
– Uniquely Yours – Prom, Pageant & Bridal
– Wittich’s Candy Shop
– Kingston National Bank
– Pickaway County Library
– Circleville Elks
– R & M TIRES
– Gibbys Eatery & Sports Bar
– Ink My Logo
– Health Food Cupboard
– Color Bar
– Starbucks on Hilliard Rome Road
– Health Care Logistics
– Ole Roundtown Barbershop
- Make a Monetary Donation
One last way you can help is by making a monetary donation to help support their annual toy drive.
Visit their website to donate or you can write a check payable to the A New Leaf and send it to
A New Leaf Toy Drive
P.O. Box 615
Kingston, Ohio 45644