Toys spared, but collections thus far are sparse |

Toys spared, but collections thus far are sparse

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

The fire Sunday that destroyed a church sanctuary caused only minor damage to a roomful of toys collected for the Toys for Tots program, but the charitable organization that gives Christmas to hundreds of local children was already in dire straits, organizers said Monday.

“We are not getting toys this year. I do not know why. Right now we are sitting at 860 kids and we can’t even fill it. We have all these kids and we don’t have the toys,” said organizer Brandy White

“Maybe it’s a sign of the times,” added Jo Misuraca.

Smoke from the fire at Connected Church of the Nazarene has left soot on packaged toys and a stench in the stuffed animals. Misuraca said the stuffed animals will have to be thrown away and the packaged items will need to be wiped down.

In addition to the regular volunteers sought for toy sorting, more are now needed to clean the toys and move them from the Connected warehouse to the Nevada Appeal next door, White said.

Misuraca said the toys here will go to children in Carson, Lyon, Douglas and Storey counties, so ignore Reno radio stations saying to bring the toys to them.

“If you take toys to Reno they will stay in Reno,” she said.

There are 60 businesses in Carson City collecting toys. On Thursday, U.S. Marines will be at Applebees from noon to 8 p.m. to try to raise toys or money for the program.

Misuraca said church members are saying it’s a miracle that the toys, which were only separated by a wall from the fire destruction, survived. She also heard the firefighters knew the toys were in there and they worked frantically to save them.

“It’s kind of one of those warm and fuzzy things. Everything else pretty much burnt up, but the firefighters knew and they took care of it as if there were kids inside,” she said.

To donate money, time or toys, call Brandy White at 297-1810.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.

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