Friday, October 27, 2017

Why We Collect Toys For Tots

This December, for every unwrapped toy donated at Copeland Christmas, our family will also contribute. Our charity of choice is Toys For Tots. We're super excited!

Here's why we donate toys and cash to a charity...

Back when we first brought the display to Palm City in 2006, visitors tried to contribute to the light bill. Back then, we used 65k incandescent lights...people assumed our power bill was high and they constantly wanted to show thanks by giving us money. We used to lie and say the electric bill only spiked nominally. We refused the money. But then we'd find $$ left on the counter or in the mailbox. Once we got a letter from a family saying they made a charitable donation in our name because they were so touched by our display. That's when we decided to partner with Toys For Tots and funnel 100% of the money to kids in Martin County.

"To be honest," says Danielle, "I am somewhat uncomfortable with collecting people's money"
"I want people to come here and see the display with zero obligation. December is our time for US TO GIVE to the community and for the community to simply receive."
That being said, we are overjoyed and humbled by the amount of toys people drop off at our house. Each year, our favorite day is when we drop off the toys at headquarters. I usually ask to peak at their staging area and I'm always overwhelmed to see tables upon tables upon tables of toys, all sorted by age.

A quick story...
Back in 2015, a van pulled up and kids started piling out. All seemed normal at first. No big deal.

Then the back hatch opened and the kids plus mom+dad started pulling dozens of toys from the van for Toys For Tots. A+ to those parents for taking their kids on a shopping spree to buy toys for less fortunate kids. They brought good toys Star Wars toys and Barbies.

Another story...
One year, a family decided not to get each other Christmas gifts. Instead, they pooled their money and bought toys for tots. When they dropped off the toys at Copeland Christmas, they shed a tear because they were so joyful and fulfilled by having done what they felt was the right thing.

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