Advertisements on TV keep saying it’s the most wonderful time of year in an attempt to lure consumers into buying knickknacks and other holiday-related products. But for some New Mexico kids, the holidays aren’t that wonderful at all, especially when those advertised products are unaffordable to their parents and family members.
Fortunately, there is a way to make this holiday season a little more special for those down on their luck. Different organizations sponsor various toy drives throughout the city, including these in and around Albuquerque’s Northeast Heights:
Giving Tree at Coronado Mall
The Giving Tree is on the south side of Coronado Mall in Sephora Court, where kids go to get pictures with Santa. It can easily be found by entering through the doors adjacent to Fuddruckers and walking straight into the mall.
Hanging on the tree are cards with the names of kids in need, their age, sex and the gifts they want for Christmas. Volunteers from the Salvation Army, Native American Professional Parent Resources and Groundworks New Mexico are assisting in receiving and distributing donations.
“We just ask that you keep the gift under $30,” said Michele Cashill of NAPPR. Cashill was volunteering at the Giving Tree on Monday, helping mall-goers find the right kids to buy gifts for. She said all the kids are in need and that gifts can be purchased right at the mall and brought to the donation box by the tree. Gifts received at the tree will be distributed by Christmas.
For more information on how to volunteer or provide a donation, contact Amanda Suarez at 505-872-1171 or email@example.com.
Marine Toys for Tots
The 75th Toys for Tots anniversary campaign is underway, with donations already picked up from most dropoff locations. For those who still want to donate a toy to this year’s campaign, contact First Sgt. Roberto Curiel at 505-347-9750 or 505-348-6551 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Monetary gifts can be donated online via the Marine Toys for Tots website.
Toys will be distributed to organizations and families formally approved by the campaign at various locations from Dec. 15-19. According to the campaign website, 7,998 toys were distributed and 6,687 children supported during last year’s campaign. The goal of Toys for Tots “is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”
Variety Dance & Toy Drive
CSP Dance Studios is hosting a toy drive for University of New Mexico’s Children’s Hospital patients Friday, Dec. 9, from 6-9 p.m. Visitors are asked to bring $10 cash or check and a toy. A welcome lesson will take place from 6-6:30 p.m. CSP Dance Studios is located at 1624 Eubank Blvd. NE. Call 505-883-9521 for more information.
Subaru NM Toy Drive and Car Show
Bring a new, unwrapped gift to the Albertson’s Market at 2801 Eubank Blvd. Sunday, Dec. 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to donate to a kid in need.
Operation Silent Night – Pet Donations
Donate cat and dog toys, treats, beds, brushes, collars, Kong toys and other pet-friendly items to the east side Animal Welfare shelter at 8920 Lomas Blvd. NE now through Dec. 31. Donations are also being accepted at the Everyday Adoption Center inside PetSmart at 350 Eubank Blvd. NE, the westside shelter location and select businesses throughout Albuquerque. To learn more about the toy drive for pets and find more dropoff locations, visit the city’s Animal Welfare Department webpage.