Giving Back Together Toy Drive hopes to give toys to 500 kids, seeks new donations

  • Heather Taylor, founder of the Giving Back Together Toy Drive, collects donations for this year’s toy drive. Now in its seventh year, the toy drive is about 225 items shy of meeting its goal to provide toys to 500 children in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region. Contributed Photo/Heather Taylor

Staff Writer
Published: 12/11/2020 3:36:57 PM
Modified: 12/11/2020 4:14:11 PM

After expanding its reach to Athol for the first time last year, the Giving Back Together Toy Drive is calling on the community’s help to collect toys for 500 children to open this Christmas.

Heather Taylor, who founded the toy drive and the 501c3 nonprofit by the same name, remembers that when she was growing up, her parents struggled with alcohol and drug addictions. Some Christmases, there were no presents.

“It was devastating to see my younger siblings crying, wondering why Santa didn’t come,” Taylor said. “I had to explain to my brother and sister that Santa didn’t forget them and everything was gonna be OK.”

She said she started the Giving Back Together Toy Drive in Greenfield in 2013 because she never wants another child to wake up on Christmas morning without a gift, thinking the magic of Christmas isn’t real.

In its first year, the drive gave gifts to about 20 families. Now in its seventh year, the Giving Back Toy Drive is about 225 items shy of meeting its goal to provide toys to 500 children in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region, serving from Greenfield to Gardner. Taylor and members of the nonprofit’s board of directors are calling on the community’s support to make it the rest of the way.

Normally, Taylor said, the toy drive relies heavily on donations of used toys. However, the board of directors decided that for health safety reasons amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be best not to accept used toys this year.

“We didn’t want risk it, and we don’t have the capacity to clean the amount toys that would be coming in,” Taylor explained.

Organizers have set up an Amazon wish list at amzn.to/3gwZdDz. Donors can also drop off new toys at: 77 Second St., Turners Falls; Sandri Energy, 400 Chapman St., Greenfield; American Knight Transportation, 357 Main St., Greenfield; and 205 South St., Athol.

For families looking to receive toys, distribution will be conducted on Dec. 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 331 Silver St. in Greenfield. Organizers ask that beneficiaries bring a birth certificate, or any proof of their child’s and their own identification.

For more information, email givingbkingreenfield@yahoo.com or visit the Giving Back Together Toy Drive’s Facebook page.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.

E-Edition & Local Ads


Weather


athol forecast

Social Media




Athol Daily News

14 Hope Street,
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Telephone: (413) 772-0261

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.