A group of volunteers are close to launching a new Christmas charitable program.
Called the Community Toy Store, the program allows low-income parents to purchase new toy and clothing gift cards for their kids during the holidays at a 75–90 percent discount. Volunteers collect donations throughout the year and put items up for sale in December.
The program was first established in Bellingham about a decade ago. Last year, it took place at Roosevelt Elementary School. Open to all Whatcom County families, proceeds were donated to local nonprofits, Rebound of Whatcom County, Whatcom Dream and The Bellingham Promise.
In April, a group of residents expressed an interest in starting the program locally for families in Blaine and Birch Bay.
The Community Assistance Program (CAP) board of directors voted on May 9 to incorporate the program into its array of services and provide it with 501(c)3 status, said board member Laura Vogee. Without it, volunteers couldn’t accept tax-deductible donations.
“It’s a huge blessing to have [the board] do that,” Vogee said. Soon, Vogee and another 10 or so volunteers will start planning the launch. Opportunities for others to get involved will be announced in coming months.
To learn more about Community Toy Store, visit communitytoystore.org.