BRISTOL – The United Way of West Central Connecticut will begin their Holiday Toy Drive at Saturday’s farmer’s market.
The United Way of West Central Connecticut will be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys for boys and girls ages 3 to 14 at the Bristol Farmer’s Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Centre Square downtown. This will be the first of several planned collection dates.
People can also drop off toys at United Way of West Central Connecticut’s office on Dec. 3 and 4 and Dec. 7 and 8 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Additionally, the United Way of West Central Connecticut will be doing collections outside of Walmart on Sunday, Nov. 28 and Sunday, Dec. 12. Local agencies and churches who serve the needs of children, such as the Boys & Girls Club of Bristol or the Bristol Family Resource Center, will be welcomed to send their list of needs to United Way of West Central Connecticut. They will be able to pick up collected toys from the United Way’s office starting Dec. 9.
Donna Osuch, president and CPO of United Way of West Central Connecticut, said that the community has always been very supportive of the toy drive. This year, she said the need is greater than ever.
“While some people haven't lost their jobs and are doing fine, there are many who have lost jobs or have had their hours reduced,” said Osuch. “They might not have the resources to provide a wonderful holiday for their children.”
In addition to toys, Osuch said that gift cards for local stores will be accepted as gifts for children 12 to 14 who might not be as interested in toys.
“We always have a little bit of trouble with collecting toys for older children,” she said.
The United Way of West Central CT is doing more with less volunteers this year in order to keep everyone safe with social distancing. Volunteers will grab toys when they are dropped off and then sort them inside their building. When agencies arrive to pick them up, they will load them into the trunks or back seats of their cars to ensure a contact-free donation.
For more information, visit uwwestcentralct.org or call 860-582-9559, EXT. 402 or email email@example.com.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.