Good Afternoon…You know how something perks along fine and nobody notices what is making it work – specifically because it is perking along fine?!?!?! Well I know of something like that and would appreciate a moment of your time to point out how many people are involved in making the Toys-4-Tots for Blanco families successful.
For fifteen years Louann Hayes, Lydia and Doug Bledsoe, and Alyce Sierra have been the powers that be behind this organization. They coordinate with all the different people/organizations involved in this project. They estimate the number of gifts needed each year; reserve the building; purchase the gifts; and work on toy day.
However, that is only part of the story. Each year the community businesses give very generously so toys can be purchased. Over the life of this service our community businesses have come through in good times and more importantly they have also been there during the tough years. Without the selfless giving of the business community there would not be a toy day.
Chief Sonier and his employees (as their own time permits) help with the collection of money and delivery of gifts to the families that cannot make it on the day of the event.
The young men and women in school have always been a part of the process. They show up and help with wrapping the presents, gathering the gifts, taking the bags to the vehicle, and just generally making the whole day very enjoyable. Over the years The Girl Scouts, The Boy Scouts, The Leos (school version of Lions), and The Honor Society have all participated. Then there are also those kids that just show up because they want to help; and these young men and women are here year after year – as long as they are in Blanco.
Super S allows some of their baskets to be used and it makes gathering the gifts so much easier. Each child receives two gifts, a stocking stuffer, and an activity book (coloring, puzzle, word find). Since most of us have more than one child you can see how much easier this is with the baskets.
I did not mention D’lynn Elrod in the beginning because she holds a very special place in this process. Each year she puts on a Christmas party in which participants bring a present for a child. Her vehicle is usually loaded to the top due to these great people. This party has been hosted by Security Service every year since they have been in Blanco, and there is rumor that Cattleman’s will hold the party next year. What a great commitment from these two organizations. D’lynn is also our wrapping boss… J She keeps us all motivated and organized. Her personality is so upbeat that even when she is exhausted she continues to smile and that is infectious for the rest of us. (Infectious in the good way)
Blanco National Bank has carried this account since its inception and always goes above and beyond. With the assistance of the people at BNB both the purchase day and the toy day go sssoooo much smoother.
Finally all this work would be for naught if it wasn’t for the Blanco United Methodist Church. They store the materials from year to year. More importantly – they have allowed their building to be used each year from the very beginning. An absolutely awesome contribution, but just the beginning. The members have also assisted. They have hauled the materials up and down the stairs – set up tables – wrapped presents – provided snacks and generously dished out encouragement. Each year the building and the volunteers remind us that while it is December and normally cold outside, inside it is warm with joy and love.
So all facets of the community have pulled together each year. We have community businesses donating money, supplies, and gifts. We have community members – young and old - running the program, collecting the funds, shopping for the gifts, wrapping the packages, and providing their time. We have a community church providing the place.
As I indicated in the beginning, this has perked along for fifteen years and is successful simply because the community supports our children. What a great community.
Toy Day Volunteer