Every year in December, Person-to-Person opens its “Toy Store” – a magical, marvelous place where children and their families who have been helped by Person to Person 6 or more times during the past year can each receive a toy, a book and a game for the holidays – chosen, wrapped and delivered straight from Person-to-Person’s on site “Toy Store” in Darien.
Throughout the year, Person-to-Person purchases and collects donations of brand new toys and age-appropriate books for the Toy Store. P2P Volunteers and a number of local companies such as RBS, Conair, Costco and others contribute to the program by either providing funds for purchase and/or donating items to the cause.
This year Toy Store was held from December 13 – December 15 and 650 families representing 1600 children visited the Toy Store.
How It Works:
- While grown-ups “shop” with the help of a volunteer “elf” to select the best free gifts and books for their family members, other volunteers keep children busy with fun activities.
- Every family receives one toy & one book for each child registered, plus one board game for the family, each chosen personally by the grown-up.
- “Shopping” is by appointment only. 1600 children have been registered since November 12.
Demand for Person-to-Person services remains strong, and as a result, more families are eligible for the Person-to-Person Toy Store this year than ever before. Last year, the Person-to-Person Toy Store gave a new toy and book to more than 1,300 children in Lower Fairfield County, Connecticut. In 2012, appointments increased to more than 650 families.
The recent recession’s climbing rates of unemployment and poverty continue to affect the low-income families P2P serves. Person-to-Person continues each year to see an increase, not a decrease, in demand for essential services. By the end of June this past year, the P2P Food Pantry had seen 25% more families than they did in the first half of 2011; our caseworkers held 30% more interviews to address client needs.