BRISTOL - United Way of West Central Connecticut is making it a little easier for local families this holiday season by collecting toy donations for kids through Friday.
The toy drive is part of United Way’s Annual Joy of Sharing Program, which provides food and toys to needy children, teens and families. This is the second event in the program. The first provided food to families for Thanksgiving in November.
Nancy Micloskey, community impact assistant coordinator at United Way, said that similar to past years, United Way received 1,684 requests for toys, as volunteers Kyra Pham and Dayle Galligan sorted through the donations and separated them based on age group.
The requests from the agencies who registered will be filled on Friday. On Monday and Tuesday the agencies will pick up the donations and distribute them to children.
“Twenty-two local agencies and some individuals registered” with United Way for the toy drive, Micloskey said, and most of those agencies provided information on the children receiving the toys to make sure they are appropriate for their age and interests.
The children who will receive the donations range from ages 3 to 14, and each is provided with one toy, she said. Every request was different and “ranged from four toys to 280,” she continued, and the agencies and individuals that registered were mostly from Bristol, but some were from surrounding communities.
Donations were steadily arriving Wednesday afternoon and included a mix of gifts, toys and hand-knitted items. One of the donors was Sherry Labowski, a former Bristol resident now living in Southington, who dropped off gift cards, makeup and nail polish.
Donations for the toy drive will be accepted until 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday at United Way, and at the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce holiday party Thursday, Micloskey noted.
“When we start filling orders, sometimes there aren’t enough donations, so on Friday we have to go shopping with the monetary donations and gift cards we received to get toys for all the children,” she said. “If we have extra toys, the Salvation Army in Bristol is where we send our overflow and then they address any other public requests for toys.”
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-973-5088 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Lorenzo Burgio on Twitter @burgioBP.