Toy drive for for kids in Ravenswood school district kicks off

by Linda Hubbard on November 10, 2020

The same, only different. That applies to a lot of things during the pandemic and it’s especially true of the toy drive that’s been a tradition for the Willows and other neighborhoods in Menlo Park and the surrounding area. Like so many things now, the community effort, which benefits students in the Ravenswood City School District, has gone virtual. 

Explains Chrisie Wendin (pictured at last year’s drive with Dana Shields) who is coordinating the drive with the Ravenswood Education Foundation: “The need is bigger than ever. We’re committed to collecting gifts for every student — that’s 1,750 kids from transitional kindergarten to 8th grade. We’re hoping people will still find great joy in making a difference, just doing it from home.”

Instead of collecting mountains of toys in person, as in years’ past (see photo below), community members are asked to select gifts from a wish list. These include items curated by Anna Chow of Cheeky Monkey Toys, who is once again supporting the drive, as well as other online retailers. The toys will be sent to the District office, then distributed at each school. This is a departure from the big annual party that used to be held each year. 

Ready to contribute? 

Here are five easy ways to help:

1. Donate toys via the Gift Hero registry
You can make a purchase through any of the vendors affiliated with the website or you can choose to purchase your gift in person at a local store. Once you make your purchase, be sure to “confirm” you’ve made your donation so it can be tracked. Deadline to drop toys off is 12/4/20. Deadline to ship toys is 12/1/20

2. Amplify your impact

● If donating through Amazon, double your impact by purchasing through smile.amazon.com and choosing Ravenswood Education Foundation as your recipient foundation.

● If donating through Cheeky Monkey, note “REF DONATION” in your notes section and choose pick up. Your donation will be delivered to the District for you. 

3. Let others shop for you

Ratherr donate funds that can be used to meet targeted needs and gift cards for older kids? Contact Chrisie Wendin for details. Note: Ravenswood Education Foundation cannot accept direct monetary donations for toys.

4. Get your company or organization involved Why not sponsor a whole grade or class? Corporate partners, contact JazminSosa.

5. Help after the holidays

While the toy drive is meaningful for everyone involved, there’s a bigger need to support students throughout the year, through funding for teachers, librarians, counselors, and more. Consider a donation to REF’s annual campaign.

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