Howell County Christmas Toy Drive
Tue, 11/14/2023 - 3:45pm admin
Wondering about the ‘Howell County Christmas Toy Drive’ boxes around town? Several local nonprofits are collaborating to fill a holiday resource need in our community.
“Christmas is supposed to be a fun and uplifting time of year for kids. There is no organized toy drive for Howell County this year so we decided to put one together,” said Shannon VonAllmen, Executive Director of Birthday Blessings.
Always a Future for Kids, Birthday Blessings, Mountain View Missouri Community Betterment Program, The Chaos Closet and 37th Judicial Court Appointed Special Advocates are working together to bring Christmas cheer to children and teens in our area.
“It has been a tough year, economically, for a lot of people. Our hope is to spread some holiday cheer to struggling families with children,” VonAllmen added.
Kathleen Wolf, Program Coordinator at 37th Judicial Court Appointed Special Advocates, has spent decades working with kids living in poverty. She is also a licensed clinical social worker who has seen the impact of giving children a positive, encouraging experience.
“Kids in poverty are inundated with images of joy, toys and shiny new gifts during the holiday season. Listening to peers talk about the Christmas gifts they have gotten can make them feel unseen,” Wolf said.
“Receiving a beautifully wrapped new gift helps them feel like a ‘normal’ part of our community. It lets vulnerable kids know someone cares for them and sees them as important.” she said.
The drive will kick off on Monday, Nov. 13 and run through Dec. 11. Items will be divided between local nonprofits and rural schools based on need and number of kids.
Collection boxes in West Plains are at 37th Judicial CASA, Community First Bank, First United Methodist Church, Lybyer and Hass Darr Halls at MSU West Plains, Ozarks Small Business Incubator, Ozark Marketing Company, Southern Missouri Community Health Clinic, the West Plains Public Library, West Plains Bank and Great Rivers Distributing in Pomona. Mountain View locations are Family Dollar, Missouri Home Realty, and Simmons Bank.
Items must be new and unopened. Do not wrap in Christmas paper. There is an especially high need for teenage gifts. Suggested items are sports or fishing eqiopment, hygiene sets for boys or girls, make-up or nail polish sets, fleece blankets, craft kits, insulated tumblers, trendy hat and glove sets, board games, and unopened packages of candy or snacks that do not expire before 2024.
Online donations can be made at afkfoundation.org. For more information call 417-372-5306 or email email@example.com.