Angels for Toys: Children’s Toy Drive

Impact Area

Help Neighbors in Need

Volunteer Group Name & URL

Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad

Organization Served & URL

Angels for Toys: Children’s Toy Drive

Project Goal/Description

To provide toys for children in a specific area to enhance their Christmas.

Timeline for Planning

  • August: Start planning where you will have the event and who you will get involved.
  • September: Push to get people to start collecting.
  • October: Confirm collection sites at various businesses.
  • November: Put boxes out.
  • December: Collect, wrap, and deliver! 

How Many Volunteers

• Over 100 volunteers from start to finish. Some are firefighters but most are people in the community. Some are students. • Usually 40-50 people do wrapping, 20 people do base setup, and 30-35 people do delivery. • Time Commitment: Ranges from 2 hours for people who wrap presents to 20 hours for people who pick up toys, collect them, and bring them to a central location. About 12-15 people work 20-40 hours on this project.

How Was This Publicized to Recruit Volunteers?

Publicity is key for increasing donations of toys. Publicity has been done in Gazette, a Montgomery County cable show on Comcast, and on Volunteer Montgomery.

Required Facilities, Materials & Expenses

The cost of collection boxes, wrapping supplies, delivery trucks, plaques for businesses that have participated.

Challenges

Getting the message out, specifically that our project is worthwhile and is different from other toy collection drives. Giving proper recognition to businesses that take part in the collection. Giving specific tasks to volunteers and getting volunteers to do them.

Group Type

Nonprofit

Strategic Priority Addressed

Children Prepared to Live & Learn

Result

About 1800 toys delivered to about 600 kids. Each kid gets large toy, medium-sized toy, and educational toy, which gives people the opportunity to feel that they are part of the holiday spirit.

Special Points of Interest

  • “A written plan and timeline allows you to have a benchmark of what you are doing,” says Steve
        Sobolewski, project coordinator and Deputy Chief, Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad.
  • Give volunteers a specific age group to purchase toys for.
  • Don’t forget about teenagers.
  • Target a specific group to donate to.
  • If you have an emotional story to share with people about how the project got started, try to
        share that with others to keep them motivated to do the project year after year.