Marion County Christmas Toy Shop Receives First Toy Donation | Local News

FAIRMONT – It doesn’t take much to change a Christmas for the better.

The Marion County Christmas Toy Store changes Christmas to the best gift at a time. The all-volunteer program received a van full of new and gently used toys on Wednesday to help ease the burden on struggling families this holiday season.

Julie Perry, a mother of three, is moving into a new home and has decided to ease her family’s moving pains by donating a trunk full of toys.

“By the time my daughter was born, my husband was working two jobs and we had been struggling,” Perry said. “I know how it feels…so if I can’t make someone have an easier Christmas this year, then I’m all for giving whatever I can to help. “

Toy Shop volunteers had yet to count the donation, but the pile of boxes Perry left inside the Marion County Election Center were the first toys donated to the program this season. Organizers said they had received several cash donations, but this was the first toy donation.

Perry’s donation pleased his father, DD Meighen, a longtime toy store volunteer and co-founder.

“It’s a really good start. There are a lot of parents we know who want to donate good toys, especially because there might be a toy shortage this year,” Meighen said. [Toy Shop] will be a good addition for families who cannot get the toy they usually find at the store.”

A toy shortage may seem far-fetched, but supply lines around the world have slowed due to a lack of workers, a phenomenon that could affect the supply of toys on shelves this Christmas.

But Meighen and Toy Shop founder Butch Tennant are hoping for another banner year. Last year, the toy store raised more than $20,000 and helped 775 families despite the pandemic.

The fundraising goal this year again is set at $20,000.

“It’s a good start. [Christmas] isn’t too far now, so we’re trying to get everyone thinking,” Tennant said. “I hope to match what we did last year.”

The toy store will hold a meeting Nov. 1 at noon at the Marion County Election Center near Palatine Park. The public is invited to attend as more volunteers are needed.

Schools have already distributed toy store application forms for students to take home. Each school can be contacted for replacement forms or more information. Completed forms must be completed by November 12.

The electoral center will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for anyone to stop and drop off toys or cash donations. For more information, call Butch Tennant at 304-203-8385.

The Marion County Family Resource Network sells custom-made Christmas decorations for toy store donations of $5 or more. Contact them at 304-366-4445.

The toy store is also looking for volunteers to sort the toys or to work during the distribution in November. For more information on volunteering, call Sharon Burrows at 304-657-6853.

The toy store will operate as a drive-thru pickup event on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m. at the Marion County Election Center. Any child aged 13 and under may be eligible for the program.