Volunteer Kirsti Turella helps mom Desirae Cortez look for just the right toy for her children in 2020 at Toys for Sequim Kids. The Sequim Community Aid sponsored event takes place Dec. 15 at Sequim Prairie Grange. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Volunteer Kirsti Turella helps mom Desirae Cortez look for just the right toy for her children in 2020 at Toys for Sequim Kids. The Sequim Community Aid sponsored event takes place Dec. 15 at Sequim Prairie Grange. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Toys for Sequim Kids drive opens for Dec. 15 event at Sequim Prairie Grange

Sequim Community Aid’s donation trees are now up across the Sequim area to help local, in-need children through the nonprofit’s annual December event Toys for Sequim Kids.

Known for helping locals with utility and rent payments in the Sequim School District for 74 years, Community Aid’s volunteers distribute toys, clothes, games, blankets and more to local parents/guardians from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, at the Sequim Prairie Grange, 290 Macleay Road.

How to help

Through Dec. 13, locals can donate items for children from babies to 18-year-olds at multiple locations, including:

• Anytime Fitness, 10135 Old Olympic Highway

• The Co-Op Farm and Garden, 216 E. Washington St.

• Grocery Outlet, 1045 W. Washington St.

• Starbucks, 1095 W. Washington St.

• YMCA of Sequim, 610 N. Fifth Ave.

Each location features a Christmas tree with slips of paper for specific toys and can be left at any of the locations for pickup.

The event helped more than 100 families in 2020, organizers said.

Fire Brigade

Volunteers with Community Aid and Clallam County Fire District 3 sponsor a donation drive from 5:30-8 p.m. on Dec. 7-9 at the Sequim Village Shopping Center, 651 W. Washington St., by KSQM 91.5 FM.

Firemen will drive the fire department’s antique fire truck each night to the site.

Philomena Lund, Toys for Sequim Kids’ co-chair, said, “last year enough toys were donated to fill two pick-up trucks and we’re hoping for an even better turnout this year.”

Fellow co-chair Kathy Suta said unwrapped toys and/or monetary donations are accepted.

Blanket-throw Drive

Both Grocery Outlet and Blue Sky Realty, 190 Priest Road, collect blankets and warm clothing for Toys for Sequim Kids through Dec. 11.

Distribution

At the Dec. 15 event, parents and guardians must show proof of Sequim School District residence, and enter the names, ages and gender of their children.

All visitors and volunteers will be required to wear face masks because of COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols, and volunteers also must wear rubber gloves.

No child care is offered and only one parent/guardian can enter for a family during selection.

Once signed in, an “elf” volunteer will guide families to tables and help select age-appropriate gifts for the children.

Organizers said each child usually receives a stuffed animal plus two toys — a main gift and a smaller gift — along with an age-appropriate game, book, and an item of clothing.

Each family receives a puzzle or a game, an art or a craft, and a throw or a blanket. Families also can enter a drawing for a bicycle if their child does not have a bike.

Volunteers

Organizers request volunteers to serve as elves and toy managers for gift distribution tables.

“We have many repeats, but we lose volunteers every year,” co-chair Jim Davis said. “It’s best to do it while you can and enjoy working in a giving environment.”

If interested, call Sequim Community Aid at 360-681-3731.

More support

Sequim Community Aid offers year-round help with utility and rent in the Sequim area. To help financially, mail check donations to: Sequim Community Aid, P.O. Box 1591, Sequim, WA, 98382. Checks for Toys for Sequim Kids should state “toys” on the memo line.

To donate to the agency for utility assistance, leave the memo blank, organizers said.

Again, call Sequim Community Aid at 360-681-3731 for assistance and/or to volunteer.

Toys for Sequim Kids is co-chaired by Kathy Joiner, Davis, Lund, and Suta for Sequim Community Aid.

Philomena Lund, co-chair of Toys for Sequim Kids, places stuffed animals among thousands of toys given to local families in-need in 2020. Organizers seek more toys, clothes and other items for children from babies to 18 for the Dec. 15 event this year. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

Philomena Lund, co-chair of Toys for Sequim Kids, places stuffed animals among thousands of toys given to local families in-need in 2020. Organizers seek more toys, clothes and other items for children from babies to 18 for the Dec. 15 event this year. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash

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