Leonard Barham, Susie Watson, Todd Finer and, Scott Childers help get the bicycles ready for delivery.
Representatives from 24 schools got to play Santa to some of their students by selecting from organized shelves of toys provided through the Yachts for Tots program sponsored by the Christmas Regatta committee.
Guidance counselors and administrators at each school looked at lists of student interests, by age group, and toys were grouped in much the same way.
Laurie Thomas of Waterway Elementary searched for, then successfully found, some Nick Jr. slime for one of her school’s students. She explained that she sent out letters with lists to parents or spoke with them on the phone about their child’s interests. For the clothes, she planned to shop at Walmart, but for the toys, the former store turned toy shop provided for the fun stuff.
There were Lego block sets, Barbie dolls, baby dolls, stuffed animals, play-doh sets, cars, building sets and all kinds of other toys as well as bicycles collected by patrons of The Shack restaurant on Sea Mountain Highway. About 50 local residents with limited resources were the next group coming by to shop.
“They tell us what they are shopping for and we help them find it,” said Ginny Maynard, who has been involved in the toy distribution end of the event for several years and had the room grouped by gender and age.
A businessman donated his closed store for the next month, but after that, the group is looking for a year-long rental of a warehouse and distribution center. Susie Watson said the group continues to distribute toys for those in need, such as victims of a fire, and gets stocked up for the next year as well. “We’re in need of a storage facility,” she said.
Anyone interested in providing one should call Watson at 843-249-8888.
The group sets up about 70 sites at area businesses and puts on the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta to publicize and solicit gifts.