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Host A Toy Drive
Christmas Unlimited Drive Guide
Want To Host A Collection Drive?
Conducting a school supply toy drive for Christmas Unlimited is easy. We provide the collection box, wrapping paper, and posters. All you need is a high traffic area where the box may be placed. Some organizations use their email system to promote the drive, others rely on word-of-mouth. A Christmas Unlimited Toy Drive is a great way to get everyone into the holiday spirit. The school supplies or toys may be dropped off at a nearby fire station or at the Christmas Unlimited Distribution Center. Call and let us know you are coming. For an especially large quantity of toys or school supplies, we may be able to arrange pick-up.
Some businesses and service clubs organize a toy drive in conjunction with their holiday party. Instead of exchanging gifts, guests bring a toy to put in the Christmas Unlimited collection box.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 719-597-1821 to sign up to host a collection drive at your location.
What We Do
During the holiday season, Christmas Unlimited collects and distributes toys to the parents of families in need in a store-like environment, allowing them to select gifts for their children. We ask that parents no bring their children to the Distribution Center. We believe that the parents should be the family's heroes, not the organization or its volunteers. This method of distribution promotes family unity and parental self-worth-having an impact far beyond that of making a child happy on Christmas Day.
How do we know who needs help?
We don't-but our 20+ agency partners do! Applications are available from mid-September through December. They are distributed by family counselors and health care workers throughout the community. The "Instruction" section of the application states, "By returning this completed application to an agency, you qualify for assistance. There are no other requirements." The early distribution of applications and assurance they will be helped, reduces the parent's holiday anxiety.
How do families access Christmas Unlimited?
Parent sign up by filling out a simple application and returning it to the agency. To learn where applications are available, please dial 2-1-1. Locations include:
Deerfield Community Center
Hillside Community Center
Ecumenical Social Ministries
El Paso County Health Department
Westside Community Center
Women's Resource Agency
Why an application?
Christmas Unlimited conducts 20 to 22 days of distribution each session. The application allows the parent to select a day and time it's convenient for them to visit our Distribution Center, and brings a sense of order to the entire distribution process. This instills confidence in the parent that they will be treated well when picking up their toys.
Applications allows us to track client service and develop useful demographics. Donors and supporters appreciate knowing that our service numbers are supported with good record keeping.
60% of the families we serve each year are "one timers". These are families needing only a temporary helping hand and may not know where to go for other kinds of help. Having to seek out an an agency to find an application may cause them to learn about additional services that will benefit their family.
How are the toys distributed?
Through the application process parents select a day and time they can be at the Christmas Unlimited Distribution Center. They receive a "Christmas card" confirming their shopping appointment. We serve only eighteen clients each half hour-no crowds, no long lines to stand in, no pushing and scrambling for toys, and no children.
The Distribution Center is set up to look like a retail toy store. Clients receive a "Shopping Pass" giving them points to spend as they would dollars. Every item in the "Store" has a point tag on it. With shopping basket in hand and holiday music playing, parents select what they want for their children.
When they're done shopping, parents step up to the Check-Out Counter. Their points are tallied and they receive additional gifts: a stuffed animal for each child nine years old and younger, a stocking stuffer for each child, a book for the family, and often wrapping paper and decorations. Items are put in Walmart shopping bags and the parents are wished a "Merry Christmas".
The volunteers' mantra during all of this is: "Treat everyone with dignity and compassion."
How much "stuff" does each child get?
It depends. We have a number of refurbished toys on the shelves. Mostly Fisher Price and Playskool items. These are priced at half the points of the same item that is new. Few items are priced over 14 points, even bicycles worth $80 to $150, and the many games, books, dolls and sports equipment with real $20-plus price tags. Our inventory records reflect that each client receives $35 to $40 worth of items per child, including the "extras" at the Check Out Counter.
In 2014, 80% of the gifts were new. Clients shopping that last days have as good a selection as clients shopping the first day. Shelves are restocked four times a day to ensure a terrific selection of gifts.
Where do the gifts come from?
Christmas Unlimited enjoys wonderful community support. For over sixty years the Colorado Springs Fire Department's stations have been drop-off sites. Stations in Black Forest, Stratmoor Hills, and the Broadmoor are now on board. The Realtors Commercial and Industrial Society, Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, Olympic Training Center, Bank of the Broadmoor, Sertoma Clubs, many Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, area churches and many schools and businesses-support Christmas Unlimited with toy drives, donations, and volunteers.