Hello amazing, fantastic readers! Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter’s World Doll Day Toy Drive (that’s a bit of a mouthful!) is now OPEN! Details are below.
In honor of World Doll Day, we’re hosting our first ever toy drive! This year, our toy drive is supporting the Marillac St. Vincent Christmas Store. Serving the Chicagoland area for over 60 years, the Marillac St. Vincent Christmas Store came into my life a few years ago, when my mom and I started donating toys in honor of a co-worker who passed away. Since then, it’s always been in the back of my mind that through this blog and its corresponding YouTube channel, we could probably make a difference, even if it’s only a small dent, in the holidays of many children in need.
What is the Christmas Store, you ask? Every year Marillac St. Vincent Family Services invites parents, grandparents, and child guardians that they serve throughout the year, to sign up for the Christmas Store. On the Saturday before Christmas, registered families get to “shop” for toys, stocking stuffers, books, games, clothes, and stuffed animals for each of their children, have their gifts wrapped, and finally, leave with a full bag of food – enough to make a big meal on Christmas day, complete with a turkey!
The Christmas Store is a fun shopping experience for parents and grandparents, giving them agency to choose the toys that best suit their children’s interests. Their Christmas store serves over 250 families, which accounts for 800-1100 children, who may not have received holiday presents otherwise.
What I like about this cause is that children, because their caregiver is handpicking their presents, will receive a truly personalized gift, as opposed to one that they may not care for. With this set up, Marillac St. Vincent’s Christmas Store puts the power of choice in the parents, grandparents or caregivers hands, which is far more empowering than receiving a generic donation, in my opinion!
What is Marillac St. Vincent’s looking for? New, in box dolls and toys for ages 0-12. Per their request, they’d prefer not to receive weapon type toys, but everything else is fair game. They’ve set up an Amazon wishlist, which will give you an idea of the sorts of things they like. However, as this is a doll blog and done to celebrate World Doll Day, I imagine many of you will choose to go that route! The toy drive window is two months long, to give you a chance to search for deals. For example, my mom and I picked up a $3.00 Tween Scene doll on clearance recently to save for this event. So, search those clearance aisles! Remember, though, this is for new or inbox toys only. (There are probably exceptions to the rule, like if you have a like new American Girl or something you’d like to donate. If you do, just e-mail me and we can discuss if it would be right for this drive!)
How can you donate? I’ve opened up a special mailbox. This isn’t a PO box, so you’re not limited to certain mail carriers. The shipping address is:
2413 W. Algonquin Rd
Algonquin, IL 60102-9402
I realize shipping can be pricey, especially if you’re located outside of the US. If you’re interested in helping with the drive, but can’t support it with a physical doll or toy, consider sending a gift card to Amazon or Toys R Us. You can send a virtual gift card to taps1223(AT)sbcglobal(DOT)net. Please, title your e-mail with TOY DRIVE DONATION. Of course, you can also send a gift card via snail mail to the special donation mailbox. Please put your mailing address inside the package, envelope or e-mail, so I can send a thank you card to you!
I hesitate to set a ‘donation goal’, because anything will be appreciated, but if we, together, can make fifty kids happy this holiday season, I think we’ll have done a wonderful thing. And I’d like to think that this sort of wonderful thing is just what Mildred Seeley had in mind when starting World Doll Day.
This snail mail box also will double as a ‘fan mail’ address, for the next three months, at least! Feel free to send non donation correspondences there, too! Questions? Just ask! And please, share this with your doll clubs, groups, etc so we can get the maximum amount of toys to donate to this great cause!