A life time ago, I was president of the Tacoma Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees). I was invited to a meeting about the economy and Christmas. Helen Mader and six or seven other people along with me gathered to discuss the situation. Our community was still in the doldrums with Boeing layoffs and on top of that we were in the midst of the Energy Crisis. Everyone was facing high gas prices; we had to wait in line, and jobs were still hard to find. The gist of the meeting was that we should all work together to help families. Christmas was coming, but it was still over a month away. Our Jaycee chapter normally took children (waiting for a Big Sister or a Big Brother) to the K-Mart on Sixth Avenue. We gave each child $5 to spend. Many bought toys for themselves, but they also bought toys for their siblings and often for their mothers. I volunteered what we had budgeted and that I would find a location for what we were calling “Christmas House.” Christmas House provided toys and warm clothing for children in Pierce County for twenty-five years. Christmas House overlapped with the Toy Rescue Mission, which is still in operation.
Like the mid-70s, there is still a need . . . there are still children and seniors who need a gift of love and warmth. People have lost their jobs or their businesses due to COVID. Please visit the Toy Rescue Mission via their website – toyrescuemission.org/
Their programs are designed to take away the stress of a parent wondering how they are going to buy Christmas gifts when they are dealing with finding ways to keep food on the table and provide safe shelter. Psychologists advise that playthings are essential to the development of a child’s creativity and have a direct bearing on hobbies and or future careers. Toys also help in building self-esteem so that children feel equal among their peers.
The Toy Rescue Mission is currently in the middle of their Christmas distribution. They are prepared to serve 700 families this holiday season. The Toy Rescue Mission serves any verifiable low income Pierce County child from birth to age 15. Right now they need gifts for older children (11 and up toys), that are age appropriate.
Their GREATEST need right now is operating capitol to cover rent and utilities. None of their staff is being paid. Here is the Toy Rescue Mission Mission Statement: To refurbish and recycle gently-used toys for disadvantaged children and seniors in care facilities while providing meaningful volunteer opportunities for the young-at-heart. Proudly serving the South Sound for 25+ years. We are a 501c3 non profit that is 100% volunteer run. We receive no state or federal funding. We are not affiliated with DSHS or any other state agency. We do however use similar criteria to qualify clients and to establish need.
Toy Rescue Mission is volunteer run, so they rely upon our volunteers to perform necessary tasks and day to day functions for the store. There is a variety of tasks that would suit almost everyone’s talents and interest including toy washing, electronic repairs, knitting doll blankets, data entry, supervision of volunteer groups and event organization. Call today if you would like to volunteer – 253-460-6711
Bi-lingual volunteers are also needed to act as personal shoppers. Especially needed are those that speak Spanish and Russian dialects. Call Martha at 253-460-6711 for more information.
Here is the current information for their Christmas program – toyrescuemission.org/christmas.html
Please, do what you can to help. Like Christmas House, the Toy Rescue Mission is all about helping people: seniors, mothers and fathers, and children.
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
Hi there my name is Lynett Bennett and I just wanted to let you know that the toy rescue is an amazing non profit organization. They’ve helped so many people all over pierce county, even myself for the holidays. With covid happening I’ve been furloughed twice now, making things a bit tight. I am so appreciative of all the hard work Ms.Martha and all the other volunteers do to ensure children have something. No matter a holiday, birthday, a need for a bike. Anything if they’re able. Kindness like that is much needed in the world, but especially these days.
Hello, I’m writing you to express how thankful I am for the Tacoma Toy Rescue Mission. They have provided help for my two sons school supplies, Easter baskets, Halloween items, birthday presents and most importantly Christmas gifts. I have two special needs sons. My budget is very tight, but I appreciate the Toy Rescue Mission for all the many ways they helped me put smiles on my kids faces. My two sons get a little bit of joy every holiday and birthday thanks to the generosity of the Toy rescue Mission. – M.E.V.
Hi. The Toy Rescue Mission has helped me so much through out the years. One of my friends referred me to the Toy Rescue Mission one year because I didn’t have anything for my son for Christmas. I called and spoke with Ms. Martha and she was so helpful. She told me to come in and bring the needed documents that was needed. I went in and I never seen anything like it. Everyone there was so kind. They let you shop for your kids. I was amazed by how much they actually give you. From presents, stocking stuffers along with the stockings, books, games, wrapping paper and so much more. They also have helped me with schools supplies, birthday gifts for my son. Honestly I don’t know what I would do without the help from Toy Rescue Mission the last few year’s. – M.C.
Help if you can.