Toys for Tots aid local youth

Staff Writer | December 2, 2020 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — Since its start, Giving Tuesday has become a force for good across the world which combines individual donations into a force of helping others.

First started by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, the movement was created as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season, according to Wikipedia. In writing about the day, one of the event’s founding partners, Mashable, wrote a story detailing 10 ways its readers could help make a difference.

The ways ranged from sharing news about the day on social media to buying gifts to help those in need. While many of the suggestions focus on national and international ideas and charities, imagine what could happen if we use the same idea on the local level to boost Toys for Tots.

So with a nod to David Letterman’s famous Top 10 lists — and in recognition of Giving Tuesday, held this week, here are 10 ways that our community can help Toys for Tots.

  1. Dig through your purse, change drawer, or couch seat and put the change in a Toys for Tots change jar.

  2. Round up your grocery shopping to the nearest dollar and donate the difference to Toys for Tots.

  3. Instead of buying a candy bar or bag of chips from the office candy machine, give that money for Toys for Tots.

  4. Hold an office basket exchange and raffle them off; then donate the money to Toys for Tots.

  5. Skip buying a coffee for a day and donate the money to Tots for Tots.

  6. When you’re out Christmas and holiday shopping, buy an extra gift for Toys for Tots (or take the equivalent and donate it to the Lions).

  7. Donate $5 (or an amount of your choosing) and challenge your friends on Facebook to match your donation.

  8. Challenge your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others to donate to Toys for Tots.

  9. Email your friends and share your plans to donate; encourage them to do the same.

  10. Donate.

Today's donations total $100 bringing the total amount of donations received to date to $1,575 of the $50,000 goal set by the Lions for the annual Christmas campaign.

Generous donations were received from the Tervan.

The Toys for Tots program provides free new toys for children living in the Lake Pend Oreille School District, from Sandpoint to Clark Fork and all points in-between. A Christmas dinner for the family is also provided. If you know someone, or need help yourself, the Lions are taking applications for the 2020 Toys for Tots program.

Applications are being accepted — more than 40 have been received already. The forms are available at the Lions Den, 609 S. Ella St., Sandpoint, on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; online at the Sandpoint Lions Facebook page,; or at Bonner Community Food Bank, 1707 Culvers Drive, Sandpoint. The deadline to submit an application is Monday, Dec. 14.

Masks are required to enter the Lions Den building or those dropping them off may also place them into the red box next to the door.

Toys may be dropped off at the Bonner County Daily Bee, 310 Church St., Sandpoint; Farmhouse Restaurant, 477227 U.S. 95, Ponderay; Columbia Bank — Sandpoint branch, 414 Church St.; and Ponderay branch, 300 Kootenai Cutoff Road; Walmart, 476999 U.S. 95, Ponderay; and North 40, 477181 U.S. 95, Ponderay.

There are a host of coin jars around the community where spare change can be donated. In addition, monetary donations may be dropped off at both branches of Columbia Bank and the Bonner County Daily Bee during normal business hours. Donations may be mailed to the Sandpoint Lions Club, Box 414, Sandpoint, ID 83864.

Donations made by check are preferred. Be sure to include a note with your check indicating that it is a Toys for Tots donation. If you wish to make an anonymous donation, please include a note. If the donation is being made in someone’s name, be sure to also include a note.

Information: Sandpoint Lions Club, 208-263-4118

Caroline Lobsinger can be reached by email at clobsinger@bonnercountydailybee. com and follow her on Twitter @CarolDailyBee.