Toys for Tots donations low; not too late to give | NevadaAppeal.com

Toys for Tots donations low; not too late to give

Andrew Pridgen
Appeal Staff Writer

Standing next to a stack of Candyland games that looked precariously close to toppling and burying her, local Toys for Tots coordinator Brandy White nonetheless seemed disappointed by this year’s dearth of toys.

“I had to turn away 762 kids this year,” she said. “Last year, we collected 3,500 toys. This year, we’ll be lucky to get 1,500.”

White said economic woes nationwide mean that Carson City is not an aberration.

“Giving has been down all over,” she said. “When I talk to (national) headquarters about it, they’re down about the same percentage.”

But there have been bright spots.

Almost as if on cue, White got a phone call from Angila Golik. Golik, Carson High’s National Honor Society adviser and organizer of the school’s Toys for Tots drive, was about to arrive at the Carson sorting center with the 500-plus toys collected by her students.

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It was a welcome boon, White said.

“We’re not through yet – we’re still collecting through the 22nd,” she said.

Carson High senior Harrison Roberts, 18, and his brother Spencer, 16, a sophomore, unloaded the flatbed of their red pick-up full of games, dolls and plush toys.

“It’s nice to know we’re helping needy children,” Spencer said. “I think back to when I was younger and what it would’ve been like not to have any toys on Christmas.

“It strikes a chord.”

Carson High junior Kirsti Walker, 16, said she was aware of how this year’s economic downturn may affect the overall toy drive, noting she hopes local residents dig deep during the last week of donation.

“Just knowing you’re doing something for a good cause at a very important time (is rewarding) – people need help, especially this year,” she said.

Josh Barbie, 16, a junior, said this is the second year he’s volunteered for the toy drive – and recalls there being “slightly more” donations last year.

“We try to help where we can,” he said. “I know people out there are doing what they can, but it’s good to try to do a little extra.

“It’s been good to help the community with this project.”

Golik said even though the 196 Carson High NHS students earn points toward the community service requirement to stay in the organization, many go above and beyond.

“They’re required to bring in a couple toys, but many bring 10 to 12,” she said. “It’s something that I know many students take pride in and want to set an example.”

Other example-setters Toys for Tots organizer White said, are Wal-Mart, which donated more than 10 bikes along with “numerous” toys and games; and, locally, The Timbers bar and Carson City Toyota.

“(Timbers) always comes through big for us,” White said. “This year, they donated several bikes. Toyota is great every year, too. They really push to help.

“And this year, people need it.”

• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at apridgen@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

It’s not too late to donate

By the numbers:

Number of toys distributed locally by Toys for Tots:

2006: 3,500

2007 (thus far): 1,500

Number of children turned away this year: 762

Number of toys given to each child

2006: 2

2007 (thus far): 1

Toy drive ends: Saturday

Drop-off locations:

North

Harley-Davidson 2749 N. Carson St.

Les Schwab Tires Center, 3219 N. Carson St.

United Blood Services, 256 E. Winnie Lane

Wal-Mart, 3200 Market St.

South

Carson City Toyota, 3659 S. Carson St.

Applebee’s, 3300 S. Carson St.

Carson Lanes bowling center, 4600 Snyder Lane

Casino Fandango, 3800 S. Carson St.

Les Schwab Tires Center, 3020 S. Carson St.

Wal-Mart, in the Clear Creek shopping center

Nevada State Railroad Museum, 2180 S. Carson St.

East

Carson City Library, 900 Roop St.

Piñon Plaza, 2171 Highway 50 E.

SlotWorld, 3879 Highway 50 E.

Central

First American Title, 1213 S. Carson St.

Grocery Outlet, 1831 N. Carson St.

The Timbers, 124 E. Eight St.

Dr. Geta’s office, 631 N. Division St.