A Variety Of Holiday Drives Are Underway In Region - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

A Variety Of Holiday Drives Are Underway In Region

December 3rd, 2018 SanTan Sun News
A Variety Of Holiday Drives Are Underway In Region

Santan Sun News Staff

Local nonprofit organizations, city departments and resident groups are in the giving spirit this season as they collect toys and other items for people in need.

Here is a look at some of them:

Living Chandler, a Facebook group, is always willing to help its neighbors. This holiday season it is bringing back a concept that helped hundreds of families two years ago – Operation Chandler Christmas.

People are encouraged to drop off holiday décor, gifts and grocery gift cards from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 8 at The Forum, 2301 S. Stearman Drive, No. 4 in Chandler. Then people in need may “shop” for the items donated from 3 to 6 p.m.

Operation Chandler Christmas began after a mother submitted a post in 2016 saying she would love some secondhand holiday decorations because she could not afford to buy any after a difficult year.

Thousands of people came together to organize two events to help people in need “shop” for free for recycled holiday décor and gifts. The event is being organized by Matthew and Tia Coates, founders of Living Chandler, with volunteers from the Facebook group including event chairwoman April Quatrine.

Information: facebook.com/events/917603771771422/

Catholic Charities, through its CARE Partnership, Care Campus, is gathering new toys for children up to 17.

Parents shop for gifts on certain days using volunteer hours as payment.

New, unwrapped toys and other gifts can be dropped off at Catholic Charities Campus from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays through Dec. 14 at 466 S. Bellview in Mesa.

“The Emergency Santa Program makes the season brighter for both children and their parents because they’re able to celebrate when they might not otherwise be able to,” said Malissa Geer, senior director of community engagement.

“Parents are required to volunteer in the community for one hour per child, making a difference in someone else’s life at a time when they feel down about their own financial hardships. It shows families that they are not alone,” she added.

CARE Campus, previously called CARE Partnership, is a grassroots, volunteer-operated community center that offers tutoring help, after-school assistance with homework, job training and an Emergency Santa program, which depends on donations and volunteers.

Information: 480-883-8987 or catholiccharitiesaz.org.

Parents who want to register for a gift-selection appointment should call through Dec. 19 at 480-833-8987.

Chandler Fire Department is collecting toys from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at its headquarters, 151 E. Boston St. or weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at any of the city’s fire stations through Dec. 14.

The highlight of the drive is the Holiday Toy Ride from 2 to 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at Chandler Fashion Center near the valet parking area outside of the food court on the south side of the mall, 3111 W. Chandler Blvd.

Anyone donating a new, unwrapped toy during the Holiday Toy Ride event will get a ride in a Chandler fire engine on Dec. 8. An adult must accompany all youths ages 6 and younger.

Chandler firefighters and volunteers will help deliver the toys to the Chandler CARE Center, where they will be given to families identified through the staff members at each Chandler Unified School District elementary school.

Information: chandleraz.gov/residents/fire

Chandler Police Department participates in the 911 Toy Drive Program through W. Steven Martin’s Police Toy Drive and Memorials. People must be in law enforcement or fire service to shop for a selected family or group and fill out a family request letter by Dec. 7.

This program is one of eight ongoing assistance efforts the organization does to support the community, city and state.

Recipients are chosen by public safety personnel based on law enforcement encounters where particular needs are revealed.

Gifts are given throughout the year, not just at Christmas, at no cost to improve the way children in need or danger perceive men and women in uniforms.

Information: 911toydrive.com/programs/911-toy-drive

Dignity Health centers around Arizona are partnering with Toys for Tots to hold a toy drive. Unwrapped toys for children from birth to age 12 are being collected through Dec. 9 at 12 Dignity Health locations including two in Chandler.

The Chandler locations are the Chandler Emergency Room at 2977 E. Germann Road and Dignity Health Arizona General ER (Chandler McQueen) at 1064 E. Ray Road.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program has been bringing toys to children in need since 1947 and is the biggest outreach program in the Department of Defense. The program has since given out over 548 million toys to more than 251 million children.

“The children and families that the Marine Toys for Tots Program serves are poor,” retired Marine Colonel Ted Silvester, Vice President of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, said.

“In addition to hunger and shelter problems, some of these families may also struggle with mental illness, substance abuse and family violence. While every day is difficult for children who live in this type of environment, the holidays particularly highlight their misfortune and disadvantages,” Silvester said.

Dignity Health Arizona General Emergency Room centers will be clearly marked as Toys for Tots drop-off sites with large holiday inflatables. The facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to make it convenient for generous donors to drop off unwrapped gifts. Information: dignityhealth.org

Fulton Homes is spreading holiday cheer to young patients who are at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa.

The homebuilder, which has built communities in Chandler, has teamed up with KEZ 99.9 for the annual Fulton Homes Books and Toys for Girls and Boys Holiday Drive.

The program aims to brighten the lives of children facing cancer treatments and kidney dialysis and those going through rehabilitation as outpatients.

KEZ listeners are urged to bring books and toys to various radio events and at the KEZ offices at 4686 E. Van Buren St., Suite 300 in Phoenix. All the books and toys collected will be given to the children at Cardon Children’s Medical Center on Dec. 18.

Information: fultonhomes.com

Fulton Homes/Cardon Children’s Medical Center/KEZ 99.9