House of Help Hempstead just ended it’s annual “Toys For Tot’s” sign-up Saturday, December 8th with a record 601 children. This is the most children we have served in the nine years that my husband, Tim, and I have been involved with Toys For Tot’s.
HOH goal is to assist parents in helping them provide a Merry Christmas for their children. Parents apply, we interview, and go over the Wish List of what their children would like for Christmas. We then submit the number of children we have to the Toys For Tots organization, schedule a time, and pick up the toys when ready. The fun and work then begins as we unload and setup Santa’s Workshop. With the help of volunteers, we all become Santa’s Elves and work to fill each child’s request the best we can with the items that Toys For Tot’s has graciously given us. I cannot say enough about Carol and her wonderful organization nor about the Knights of Columbus organization at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church; they supplied kids coasts again this year.
We do not wrap the toys, however, we do try and provide wrapping paper for the parents. Unwrapped presents supports and lets the parents decide their children’s Christmas by either wrapping and put them under the tree, leave them as gifts from Santa or maybe a little of both.
Some of the things we need for the children are not available through Toys For Tots. Because of the cold weather and high utility bills we have had so many requests for blankets, from the HOH and TFT, that we have ran out of our regular stock of blankets and electric heaters. We still have lap throws; which we will continue to give out and are thankful for; some made by our local quilt club. Sometimes the choice is to keep the thermostat low and add blankets to keep warm than the ability to pay an electric bill, but sometimes a blanket or sleeping bag is the only way someone has to keep warm.
When girls of all ages request, brush sets, lip gloss, fingernail polish, real makeup, jewelry or cologne, boys like these two item too, it is not available. We either have to purchase or rely on donations to meet these requests. The other thing I have lot of request for this year is Arts and Crafts. Children are into drawing, coloring and making things from jewelry to building various items. Yes, I will get some of this from TFT and yes, not all 601 children have requested Arts and Crafts; guess this Mama Bear is just concern about her cubs.
Whatever you can help with will be greatly appreciated. House of Help Hempstead is a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization.
We do give receipts for material or monetary donations. Because of our non-profit status, we do not pay tax on our purchases.
From our House and Hearts to each of yours, THANK-YOU for all the support and prayers you have given us. Not just this time, or this year but,…… all the time. Blessings, Merry Christmas, HOH Volunteers and Ms.Sid, Executive Director