As a mother of very young children, I am extremely excited for Christmas this year. This is the first year that I have a child old enough to participate in holiday activities, to anticipate Christmas Day, to be excited about toys, and as it turns out, to learn to give.
While rearranging the living room last weekend and trying to make room for toy storage, my husband and I were faced with the reality that it is time to cut back on the toys that are flooding our house.
With Christmas just around the corner, we decided this would be a great opportunity for our son to give something of his own to help other kids have a blessed Christmas.
I showed my little boy a picture of Santa Claus with his bag full of toys and told him we were going to fill our own bag so he could give toys to other kids just like Santa does.
Since he is only 2½, I was surprised that he actually seemed to understand the concept. Apparently all of the Christmas cartoons he has been watching have been sinking in.
When he put the first toy into the bag, I had to bite my lip before saying, “Oh, but that is the toy that Papa and Grandma gave you for your very first Christmas. It was your favorite for over a year. Just hearing it reminds me of you as a baby. Let’s choose a different one.”
Then I swallowed the pride I felt over him choosing such a special toy to give. I swallowed it again a few minutes later when he held another toy shouting, “No, this is mine!”
We did end up filling a little more than a bag, and I could see him getting a little taste of the joy of giving. This was a very real way that he could give something of his own, not just something that I purchased and put his name on.
When I searched for places to donate the toys, I found far more local organizations than I expected collecting Christmas gifts. Many are looking for new toys or monetary donations, but others can accept used toys as well.
Whether you have the ability to donate new or used toys, cash or other items, here are some wonderful opportunities in our community to help provide a special Christmas for families with little ones.
Battered Persons’ Advocacy
BPA serves survivors of family violence or sexual assault. They not only have one of the largest shelters in the state, but they also serve many families throughout the county.
Christmas gifts are needed for the families that BPA serves. Contact their office at 541-957-0288 to make arrangements.
Casa de Belen
Casa de Belen, Spanish for Bethlehem House, is a transitional housing facility dedicated to helping homeless teens and families with teens find a safe place to put their lives back together.
If you are interested in donating a new toy or other item for their Christmas for the residents, please contact Penny at 541-677-0073.
Christmas for Kids
Christmas for Kids seeks to provide toys for underprivileged kids in Douglas County. Santa and Mrs. Claus will deliver the toys a few days before Christmas.
To donate new small toys or stuffed animals for Santa’s bag, contact Sara Merica at 541-680-5365. For more information, visit www.c4kdc.org.
Douglas C.A.R.E.S. treats children of abuse in Douglas County. They have purchased coats and shoes, but are in need of new toys. Toys can be dropped off at Douglas C.A.R.E.S. For more information, call 541-957-5646.
Phoenix Charter School
Phoenix Charter School is an alternative high school. The school has a nursery for children of the students. New or used toys can be donated for Christmas gifts or for use in the nursery. To make a donation, contact Donna Fowlkes at 541-440-1120.
Roseburg Dream Center
The Roseburg Dream Center is an outreach of New Life Christian Center and seeks to meet the needs of people in the community. They are collecting Christmas presents including new toys and bikes. Call 541-673-5918 for more information or drop donations off at 747 S.E. Mosher Ave, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that seeks to meet human needs.
Used toy donations would be sold in the thrift store. Families could buy the toys at a greatly reduced price and proceeds would go to support family services.
New toys can be donated for the Christmas Distribution Program or through the Angel Trees located at U.S. Bank and Fred Meyer. Contact the Salvation Army office at 541-672-6581 for more information.
Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots is a U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Program, ran locally by city of Roseburg City union firefighters. New toys can be dropped off at any of the city of Roseburg fire stations. Toys will be delivered on Dec. 21.
For more information, visit roseburg-or.toysfortots.org or call Lt. Ryan Travis at 541-492-6738.
You can also check your local thrift store such as Goodwill or the Roseburg Rescue Mission for donations needed.