DERBY – Across the world, families will wake up to a sparkling tree on Christmas morning. Staff from Northpoint Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram have teamed up with Northeast Kingdom Community Acton (NEKCA) to make sure some local children experience the magic every youngster deserves.
The drop boxes for the “Toys for Kids” campaign are at Orleans County area businesses. The last day area residents can drop a new, unwrapped present is Tuesday, Dec. 18. Staff at the dealership, formerly known as Mulkin’s, have sponsored the drive for several years. Staff from NEKCA will distribute the presents.
“There are a lot of kids who probably would go without Christmas,” said Amber Robbins, office assistant, on why the dealership takes part in the collection. “There are a lot of families struggling out there who don’t have jobs.”
Every child deserves to have a nice Christmas and there is no shame for asking for help, even those families who were well off last year. Last year, the program helped several hundred families. This year, however, NEKCA is low on donations even though it had some gifts leftover from last year.
NEKCA particularly would like cologne, makeup, plastic or stuffed farm animals, Barbie dolls, Matchbox cars and Legos.
“We love doing it,” said Robbins. She said that who can should make a donation. “It’s a good thing to donate. You might be the one who needs it next year.”
“We try to give back,” said Ronney Lyster, owner of Northpoint Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. The dealership donates to various non-profit organizations and schools. “This is a worthwhile cause and we’re glad to do our small part.”
There is no minimum or maximum amount people can spend. Parents wishing to take part in the program need to contact NEKCA Parent Child Center on Central Street in Newport City. They will need to fill out an intake form. Everyone who signs up will get something for his or her child.
“It’s for the children,” said Rhonda Cole, teen parent educator for NEKCA. “We want every child to have a good Christmas.”
Parents are asked to bring a food donation or a donation of wrapping paper or Scotch tape. NEKCA will distribute toys up until Christmas Eve. Anything left over will go to next year’s drive
NEKCA would accept homemade clothes like mittens, but those items should be new and unwrapped, Robbins said. Anyone wishing to donate checks can stop at the dealership or NEKCA office.
Staff from Northpoint Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram collecting presents for area youngsters are owner Ronney Lyster, Sylvie Mathieu, Aline Raboin, Amber Robbins, Virgina Bathalon, Lynne Matten, Lucy Lucas, Bobbi-Jo Andrews and Rachel Twofoot.