Donations sought for annual toy drive program

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief
Some of the toys filling tables at the Perry Elks Lodge in 2020 for the annual toy drive.

Boxes are out in Perry businesses to collect donations for the annual toy drive.

Organizers John and Linda Andorf said the toy drive typically serves between 200-300 kids in Perry. The bulk of the toys come from the collection boxes and local donations, while a portion come from Toys for Tots.

“We always get a lot of community support and we appreciate that, we do,” John said. 

“We have an exceptionally generous community,” Linda added.

More:Community steps up with donations for annual toy drive

Collection boxes were set out on Nov. 1 at Ben's Five and Dime, Perry Perk, Percival Scientific, Van Wall Equipment, Orschelen, Dollar General and both Circle K locations. Toys can be dropped off through Dec. 2.

Hy-Vee will also be doing a round-up for the toy drive from Nov. 20-26.

The boxes will be collected on Dec. 3 and volunteers will help sort toys to be distributed to qualified families on Dec. 9-10 at the Perry Elks Lodge. 

Families can apply for the toy program through New Opportunities. The application process is based on income guidelines and families may qualify if they have children go to Head Start or receive other assistance through New Opportunities. Linda encourages families to fill out an application for the toy program as it may open other assistance opportunities. 

Toys are needed for children ages 0-14.

“Toys are great, but for the older children, we get fewer donations,” John said. “That’s why cash is good so we can go out and buy some things that are more appropriate for the kids up to 14.”

Heather Hoyme, left, and Lisa Battani pick out toys for a family at the Perry Elks Lodge.

Linda added that local gift certificates from Perry Perk, McDonalds, Subway and Casey’s, tickets from Perry Grand 3 Theatres or even Perry Chamber Bucks would work for the older children.

The Andorfs have also taken some of the donated cash to purchase fleece blankets, sweatshirts or specific toys listed on the qualified family applications.

“We try very hard to make sure there’s at least something on that Christmas wish list that the kids want,” Linda said.

John and Linda added that they have a great group of volunteers who help sort and bag toys to be distributed to children in Perry.

“We have just a really wonderful time playing Santa,” Linda said.

“We’re just thankful that we have such community support and that we’re able to help people out,” John said.

For more information on donating to the annual toy drive program, contact the Andorfs at 515-465-5803.

Toys fill a table inside the Perry Elks Lodge for the annual toy drive in 2020.