Alisha Whitley looks through the family movies at Toys for Sequim Kids on Dec. 15 with her “helper elf” Linda Reichl. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Alisha Whitley looks through the family movies at Toys for Sequim Kids on Dec. 15 with her “helper elf” Linda Reichl. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Toys in tow: Community Aid’s annual event supports 348 Sequim children

With “Giving Trees” set up across Sequim, an antique fire truck featuring a dancing Santa, and several other donation efforts, Toys for Sequim Kids kept the giving going this Christmas for local families.

Toys, blankets, books, games and more filled the Sequim Prairie Grange on Dec. 15, helping local families enjoy this Christmas.

“People were very generous,” said event co-organizer Kathy Suta with Sequim Community Aid.

“We got more toys and (monetary donations) than last year. It was our best ever.”

Organizers estimate 348 Sequim children received numerous presents for Christmas.

As tradition, volunteer “elves” — dressed this year in masks and gloves because of COVID-19 precautions — led parents and guardians through the grange to collect age-appropriate items.

Thirty-four bikes with helmets donated by Murrey’s Disposal and individuals were raffled off.

More than 300 blankets from The Linus Project were available along with 100 handmade stockings from the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club, Suta said.

“Big thanks to all the individuals that helped make it better than ever,” she said. “Your generosity was overwhelming. We greatly appreciate the Sequim Prairie Grange for hosting the event again, too.”

For 70-plus years, Toys for Sequim Kids has helped provide assistance to families in-need of help around the holidays for their children.

Co-organizer Jim Davis said he’s helped for more than 10 years because it helps him celebrate Christmas in a different way.

“When you don’t have children, it gives you the feeling that you are giving to the children,” he said.

Sequim support

Giving Trees went up at Anytime Fitness, Clallam Co-Op Farm and Garden, Grocery Outlet, Starbucks and the YMCA of Sequim, along with a blanket and coat drive through Blue Sky Realty.

Suta said other sizable donations and/or volunteer efforts came from: Brody Broker Real Estate/ Keller Williams Olympic; BSA Troops 90; Clallam County Professional Firefighters Union Local 2933 and the Sequim Volunteers Association;Coastal Farm & Ranch; Paisleys; QFC; Radio Shack; Safeway; Sequim Irrigation Festival; Sequim Prairie Grange; Sequim Valley Car Club; Strait Business Capital; Swain’s; Toys for Tots; Walmart; and countless clubs, realtors and citizens.

For the past month as donations came in, Suta and fellow co-organizer Kathy Joyner sorted toys and items by age and gender.

Prior to the event, a group of volunteers from Trinity United Methodist Church delivered the toys to the grange, Davis said.

The event was co-chaired by Davis, Joyner, Philomena Lund and Suta.

Help locals

To help Sequim Community Aid provide year-round help with utility and rent for those in need in the Sequim area, monetary donations can be mailed 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.

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

Brandy Brogan picks a bike out at Toys for Sequim Kids with help from volunteer Ryan Cherry, a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionary, for a chance to receive one of 34 bikes in Sequim Community Aid’s raffle. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Brandy Brogan picks a bike out at Toys for Sequim Kids with help from volunteer Ryan Cherry, a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionary, for a chance to receive one of 34 bikes in Sequim Community Aid’s raffle. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim Community Aid volunteers Jean deJong and Pat Gritman help Ken Glen find the right toys for his four children at Toys for Sequim Kids on Dec. 15. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim Community Aid volunteers Jean deJong and Pat Gritman help Ken Glen find the right toys for his four children at Toys for Sequim Kids on Dec. 15. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Marion Rutledge and Kathy Downer help John Eddy hunt down the best puzzles and games during Toys for Sequim Kids. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Marion Rutledge and Kathy Downer help John Eddy hunt down the best puzzles and games during Toys for Sequim Kids. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Kathy Joyner, co-organizer of Toys for Sequim Kids, helps Jean Ann Houk size up a t-shirt for one of her children this Christmas. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Kathy Joyner, co-organizer of Toys for Sequim Kids, helps Jean Ann Houk size up a t-shirt for one of her children this Christmas. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Alisha Whitley looks through the family movies at Toys for Sequim Kids on Dec. 15 with her “helper elf” Linda Reichl. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Alisha Whitley looks through the family movies at Toys for Sequim Kids on Dec. 15 with her “helper elf” Linda Reichl. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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