Toy drive

Community support powers holiday toy drive and Adopt-a-Family effort

SHELTER, Inc.’s annual toy drive and Adopt-a-Family efforts aim to provide merry and bright holiday seasons for local homeless and at-risk families and individuals. Thanks to the support and generosity of donors and organizations in Contra Costa, Solano, and Sacramento counties, the agency is delighted to report that approximately 9,000 toys were donated, and that more than 1,400 people benefited from the Adopt-a-Family program (including 1,250 local children).

“For many of these individuals, these are the first gifts they have ever received,” said SHELTER, Inc. Volunteer Coordinator Yareth Rodriguez, pictured at right amidst just a fraction of the small mountain of donations. “We thank you for your support and generosity. None of this would be possible without your help.”

Toy donations began flowing into the SHELTER, Inc. main office in Concord shortly after Thanksgiving. SHELTER, Inc. sends special thanks to HomeAid, the organization whose drive with the Building Industry Association benefiting this endeavor was so successful it required a 10’ box truck to carry toys from one location to another. In addition, the agency is proud to recognize Party In-Kindness for their successful toy drive, as well as the Martinez Music Mafia for both their toy drive and a generous cash donation.

”One of the many characteristics that distinguishes our community is how organizations large and small step up to help their neighbors,” said Julie Clemens, SHELTER, Inc. Director of Development. “Organizations are made up of individual people, and each person’s commitment embodies a spirit of generosity that transcends societal barriers. And, that is the truest expression of philanthropy – that we all help to take care of others.”

As a result of these donations, much of SHELTER, Inc.’s office space was overrun throughout the month of December with toys for children of all ages. These ranged from board games and art supplies to dolls, action figures, science kits and sporting goods. These gifts (and the generosity behind them) provided shining lights to community members who have been struggling to make ends meet during these difficult times.

“We are deeply grateful to everyone who supported our efforts to brighten the holidays for those in need,” Clemens added. “This generosity allowed more than 1,400 women, children and men in our area to truly enjoy the season and feel connected to the community. In addition, a number of volunteers set aside valuable time during December to help sort and organize the gifts prior to distribution, and those efforts are sincerely appreciated.”