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Enumclaw Toys for Tots and Teens
During the month of December, Enumclaw Fire Department becomes a toy collection site for new, unwrapped, donated toys that go to the Enumclaw Toys for Tots and Teens program, ran by Karen Worthington. The program has served families on the Enumclaw plateau for the last 25+ years. Santa Run is the largest collection event for donated toys and food for these programs.
Each year, local families are identified through the reduced/free lunch program through the Enumclaw School District and a letter is sent home, after Thanksgiving, for enrollment. The family is required to fill out the form and return mail it in the preaddressed, stamped envelope prior to December 15th. The letters come back to the Enumclaw Fire Station. Last year the program served almost 200 families and 500 children.
Toys are collected from the community up until the Thursday before the distribution day. This year the end collection date is December 19th. Toys are then moved, sorted and set-up at the Senior Center. This year the moving/sorting day is December 20th and the distribution day is December 21st for the enrolled families. The program is always in need of volunteers for both the moving/sorting of toys and the distribution day.
The items the program is always in need of is gifts for teens. It supplements the lack of gifts with $10-15 gift cards to local stores like Walgreens, Work Sports, etc. Toys/items the program is unable to distribute are guns, including nerf, or any violent or inappropriate type toy.
The Enumclaw Toys for Tots and Teens program has two auxiliary programs. The first one is called New Community Christmas Baskets and is also run by Karen Worthington. It offers each enrolled family a Christmas meal, along with the gifts for the children, during the distribution day. The second supportive program is Holiday Helping Hands. It fills immediate and pressing needs when requested, in writing, by the families that have enrolled in the Toys for Tots and Teen program. It also supports the families with local resources like the clothing bank, Plateau Outreach and financial assistance. Holiday Helping Hands collects new and like-new items such as winter clothing, toiletries, blankets, diapers, etc. and packages the items for the families to pick-up on the distribution day.
Fugate Ford is a large sponsor and supporter of Santa Run and the Toys for Tots and Teens program. They fund the printing of Santa Run flyers and loan us a Fugate vehicle during the Christmas Parade and Santa Run to transport the collected toys and food. Fugate also houses the donated food while we house the toys.
Enumclaw Police Department has assisted us since 2017 in lieu of the Cops 4 Kids Program. They assist us monetarily, with collection boxes in local businesses and with the sorting/moving of toys. They have community volunteers to help us also.
These programs are so valuable in this wonderful community! It takes many volunteers to make them successful. We are always in need of more help! It truly is an amazing feeling (and feat) to be the “real deal” Santa Clause for a day! If you would like to join or help out with any of these programs, please get in touch with M. Otto.
Toy Donation Boxes can be found at the following locations:
-Work Sports and Outdoors-Safeway-Thunderdome Car Museum-Mutual of Enumclaw-Mail Express-EPD-Sunrise Elementary School-Starbucks-Combat Sports and Fitness