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Santa’s Toy Shoppe will prevail

Although donations to Eastern Canadian County’s annual Santa’s Toy Shoppe are low this year because of the pandemic, the event’s Christmas spirit still lives on.
The Mustang Fire Department, as well as the Yukon Fire Department, have still been collecting toy and monetary donations to provide Christmas for more than 450 children in the county. Mustang Fire Captain Andy Willrath said the need for toys this year is especially high because of COVID-19. Although donations are currently low, Willrath said more typically come right before the day of the event.
As of Dec. 4, the department had received $1,500 in monetary donations. Ten people had written checks and five organizations had given money.
“People in Mustang are very giving,” said Willrath.
Firefighters go to Walmart and buy toys with the monetary donations.
Also, as of Dec. 4, Willrath said the department has met about 10% of their goal to provide every child Christmas.
The department is also looking forward to more donations from Mustang Middle School’s Fill the Bus, where people throughout the district donate new, unwrapped toys to be delivered by buses to the fire department.
Seeing children’s faces light up when they drop donations off and then get a tour of the fire station is unmatched happiness, Willrath said. The only other thing that counters it is watching families pick out toys they know their children will love to open Christmas morning.
“That’s what keeps Santa real,” Willrath said.
Firefighters and volunteers will help 10 families pick out toys for their children every 20 minutes. In previous years, the department has allowed 15 families every 15 minutes inside the station to pick out toys.
The department will also have a make-up day, which is still to be determined, for families, who cannot make 10 a.m. Saturday. They will be contacted personally by the department.
Willrath said they are usually done by 5 p.m. the day of the toy shoppe.
For COVID-19 precautions, all toys will be isolated and sanitized. All volunteers, as well as everyone who comes into the station, must wear masks the entire time.
Willrath said there will be lots of hand sanitizer out, and breaks will happen for volunteers to clean the toy shoppe area.
New, unwrapped toys are accepted during the fire department’s business hours; however, people may also call 376-9365 to drop off donations on the weekend.
Applications and volunteers are accepted up to the day of the event. People may visit ecctoyshoppe.com.

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth Euteneuer on December 10, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    I applied for my grandson to receive toys as I have done for the past 7 years and I have received no response.I truly am concerned about being able to give him a decent Christmas this year.I was diagnosed with covid 19 on Nov 16 th and am still struggling to get well.I am unable to work.Is there anywhere else I can turn?I’d be grateful for any suggestions.Thank you

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