Without a doubt, the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity toy drive is the highlight of each year for many of the Easterseals community. This is an event that is impossible to describe, but must be experienced to fully appreciate the generosity of so many people. Arriving at the ‘Y’, you are greeted by volunteers who have already spent hours upon hours carefully wrapping and labeling enough gifts to fill many trucks of various sizes. For the children we serve, the Easterseals team is charged with moving the gifts from the trailers to rental trucks for transport to the respective programs, where they are offloaded and stored for pick up or delivery. The energy and excitement of the Easterseals team is evident well before arriving at the Upper Main Line YMCA (which serves as the distribution center for the gifts) and explodes as staff see the packages of wrapped gifts, bicycles and assorted items. Each gift is personalized and intended to make each child’s Christmas special.
This spectacular day truly ushers in the holiday season, literally bringing tears to the eyes of many first time participants as well as seasoned veterans. This event, which enjoyed its’ 32nd year in 2017, has grown from serving 5 children to nearly 7,000; from 2 cars filled with gifts to 3 semi-tractor trailer trucks and 26 twenty-four foot moving trucks. Easterseals is fortunate to serve as the conduit between the Delaware Valley Children’s Charity and the families of the children served by our community and we thank them for allowing us to be a small part of such a powerful expression of caring. It is noteworthy that the donors will never see the faces of the children they’ve touched, only reinforcing the idea that this is all about the kids! As their website offers, they believe “. . . that a new winter coat or bag of toys may not change a life, but it can change a heart, and that is where it all begins.”
We thank the DVCC for allowing us to be part of such an incredible day!