Picking out Toys via Empty Stocking Club for Families in Need

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For the last volunteer outing of the year during the holidays, I looked for an opportunity to bring a little happiness to those less fortunate! So our group of credit union people revisited something we did last year, with mostly new volunteers.

We helped out at the 98th annual Toy Depot which was held December 12-14 in the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center where the Empty Stocking Club distributed toys to approximately 3,500+ families and more than 10,000 children.

For almost 100 years, the Wisconsin State Journal’s Empty Stocking Club’s goal has always been the same: Make sure children receive at least one nice gift at Christmastime.

For this activity, we worked as “Toy Helpers,” helping the families pick out the toys for their children. It reminded me of assisting people at local food pantries, where you are with someone individually (or a family) and walk them through the site, letting them decide what they want based on their sheet. In this case, instead of points for food, they got to choose one toy per child – everything from infant toys, dolls (very popular), Star Wars items, remote control cars (also very popular), craft items, games, electronics, sports-related items, and much more. There was a great selection and felt good to be part of bringing happiness to boys and girls in the area during the holidays!

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