Willows toy drive 2019

Willows neighborhood residents are inviting the rest of Menlo Park and surrounding communities to join them in collecting toys and gift cards for deserving students in Belle Haven and East Palo Alto. They are working in partnership with the Ravenswood School District and Ravenswood Education Foundation where 44% of Ravenswood students meet the District’s definition of homeless/housing insecure.

Between now and December 7, we need to collect more than 1,000 toys and gift cards. For those who want to stretch their donations, any funds collected will be used to purchase toys from local favorite Cheeky Monkey Toys, who generously has offered to discount our direct purchases. If you prefer to pick them out yourselves — always fun with kids — please consider doing so from this amazing local business!

We’re also recruiting volunteers to help with setup and distribution, which will be on Sunday, December 8, at the District Office. (For those who have helped in past years, the format will be a bit different.)

Here are five ways you can get involved:

1. Purchase and drop off unwrapped toys to 1231 Woodland Ave, Menlo Park. Please leave on porch and in a plastic bag if raining.

2. Donate funds that can be used by our team to purchase toys from Cheeky Monkey, as well as Target gift cards in denominations of $25 each. PayPal: Direct link or [email protected] Venmo: RavenswoodToys; Checks: Chrisie Wendin, 405 Shirley Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025

3. Buy gifts online and have sent directly to Dana Shields, 1231 Woodland Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

4. Host a mini-drive at your work, school, or neighborhood. Contact us to coordinate bulk donations.

5. Volunteer to transport toys on 12/6 and 12/7, setup on 12/7, and work event on 12/8. Email us at the address below and we’ll share a sign up sheet as details are confirmed.

Questions or ideas? Contact [email protected] or call/text Chrisie at 650-207-3835.

InMenlo file photos from 2018 toy drive