For 99 years -- since 1914 -- Toy & Joy Makers and Portland firefighters have been providing toys for Portland children in need. It probably comes as no surprise that the need for donations -- both toys and dollars -- is urgent again this year. The phone lines just opened up for families to make toy requests and the donation line is live as well.
Through a special phone line 503-231-TOYS (8697) parents and legal guardians may request toys for children up to age 13. Requests for toys will ONLY be accepted through this number. This phone number experiences a high volume of calls during this time so callers should continue to call back often or early in the day.
Last December, toys were provided for 15,533 children and almost 3,000 families within Portland city limits. That’s 61,357 toys delivered to children who otherwise might have gone without during the holiday season. Dean Johnston, President of Toy & Joy Makers and a retired Portland firefighter, expects that even more families will ask for help this year
Dependent solely on donations, Toy & Joy Makers will place collection boxes at each of the 30 Portland fire stations, community and holiday events. Station locations can be accessed at http://www.portlandonline.com/fire/stations. PF&R firefighters and community volunteers get into the spirit and support the Toy & Joy Makers’ mission by dedicating time to sort donated toys into the proper age groups at the warehouse.
Community members are encouraged to bring and drop off new and unused toys and sports equipment for kids of all ages at these collection boxes. Gift cards are welcome, especially for the older children. Donations can also be made at the Toy & Joy headquarters located at 5916 NE Going Street. You can also call the office donation line at 503-823-0922.
Dollar donations are especially appreciated because Toy & Joy Makers can work directly with wholesalers to purchase toys at lower cost. Toy & Joy Makers is a charitable (501(c)(3)) organization and donations are tax deductible. Fully 98 percent of donations go directly into providing toys for children; less than two percent goes to overhead. To make donating cash even more efficient, Toy & Joy has added a PayPal link on its website for donors. Just click “donate” at http://www.toynjoymakers.org/.
For more information about the program, contact the Toy & Joy Makers by phone at 503-823-0922 or visit http://www.toynjoymakers.org/.