The 16 School Days of Christmas: Toy, clothing drives spread holiday spirit
Holidays are right around the corner, and with that comes presents, good food, and family – but this isn’t the case for everyone.
Homelessness is on the rise, and in Allegheny County alone, the homeless population has risen by 21 percent in the past year. Along with the hundreds of homeless men, women, and children throughout the county, there are countless families that can barely afford the necessities this winter, making it almost impossible for them to get presents for their children.
While that statement may seem heavy and discouraging, it’s easy to help. For a start, families that are able are encouraged to donate new or gently used toys, coats, non-perishables, and other winter necessities to make these harsh winters less severe for those who are struggling.
Donating may seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s really as easy as finding a nearby donation center, gathering new or gently used household items, and taking a short car ride. It’s important to remember the impact that even one gently used toy or coat can have on a struggling family.
Many students are unable to commute to a donation center, but luckily, Baldwin-Whitehall School District is hosting a toy drive during school hours. The toy drive will run until Friday, with new and unwrapped toys being accepted at each BWSD building.
The school’s toy drive is a great place to start, and for those in the Pittsburgh area who want to do more, the Neighborhood Resilience Project is accepting donations toward the creation of winter survival bags. They are looking for winter parkas, tents, hats, gloves, hand warmers, long underwear, underwear, and socks.
Batch A Toys, a toy drive organized by former Pittsburgh Steeler Charlie Batch, is another wonderful resource for donating this Christmas. Not only do they accept gently used toys, but on their website, there is also an option to purchase a new toy to be donated to a child in need.
This holiday season, it is important for families to be mindful of those struggling. Rather than regifting an item back and forth among family members or friends for years, or holding onto a gift from years ago that has never been touched, consider donating to a family less fortunate.