P2P’s dedicated Toy Store Committee works tirelessly year-round to coordinate our annual Holiday Toy Store, which provides the opportunity for P2P families to choose toys, books, and games for their children during the holiday season. In 2018, nearly 2,000 children received gifts as part of this event.

“Toy Store is the best part of the holiday season for me. It’s about giving not just in the material sense, but more meaningfully giving connection, joy, and respect,” shares Amy Gold, a long-time member of P2P’s Toy Store Committee.

“When parents see that their community is there for them, that can be life-changing.”

“We have a great committee! Fun, energetic, diverse and inclusive – even when we’re exhausted and giddy, we have so much fun behind the scenes at Toy Store, and there is so much laughter and camaraderie. Everyone is truly here to make a difference, and no one is afraid to roll up their sleeves and jump in where needed,” says committee Chair, Lisa Rae Koorbusch.

During the year, members work to secure donations, organize community toy drives, work with corporate and community partners, organize and track inventory, shop for great deals, and most essential, recruit volunteers. As the holiday season nears, the committee shifts into high gear, making sure there will be enough toys – and volunteers – to make it a wonderful event for all.

It takes an energetic crew of 500 volunteers to organize and run the Toy Store from start to finish. From transforming the Anderson Youth and Community Center into a festive atmosphere, to picking up donations in the community, sorting and displaying the thousands of toys, books and gifts, serving as elves to help parents shop, wrapping gifts, and playing with children, it is a true community effort.

“Asking volunteers to get involved in Toy Store is always an easy sell.  It reminds us all that the holiday season isn’t about Santa, pumpkin pie or the presents we receive.  It’s about making connections and giving to those who need,” says Koorbusch.  What draws many people to get involved in the Toy Store is the opportunity to connect one-on-one with parents and children. “The highlights of any Toy Store are always the parents who give you a hug, or cry with delight, or express their gratitude in a warm and genuine way.”

With a focus on enriching gifts, the committee ensures that every family also receives a board game, and that every child receives a book. “Every year, I gather, sort and display the books that parents can choose from for their children.  As my children have grown and flown, it’s such a joy for me to be reminded of reading many old favorites, and also to see what’s new and what the next generation is reading.” shares Amy Gold.

We are so grateful for the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication of all nine current members of the committee, and all who have contributed to it in the past. Thank you for bringing joy and connection to all during the holidays!

Find or more about volunteering at the toy store here, or purchase gifts from our Amazon Wishlist here.