Organizers of New Mexico toy drive see increase in demand
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Northern New Mexico Toy Drive is back and looking to serve more children this year than ever before.
“It’s the only new thing that a lot of these kids get every year, so we take it really seriously,” said Becca Jones.
Becca Jones is with Exit Realty, and she’s the coordinator of the Northern New Mexico Toy Drive. She says the need is bigger than ever.
After serving 3,000 children last year, they’re hoping to serve 5,000 this year, helping more than 36 children’s organizations in northern New Mexico.
“They ask, ‘Well, what do your kids need? What are the most important things?’ Sometimes it’s just simple jackets,” said Virginia Tenorio with the Santo Domingo Family Services.
Tenorio says this is something not just children in her community look forward to every year.
“A lot of times Santa Claus will come in and these kids will be so, so happy. And it brings a lot of joy to the parents because sometimes it’s really hard to ask for help,” said Tenorio.
The drive is off to a slow start, but Exit Realty is making it easier to shop than ever.
People can hop online for specific items, donate to the Christmas fund, or drop toys off at more than 30 donation bins in northern New Mexico and in Albuquerque.
“People ask us a lot, ‘Why toys?’ Right? It seems like it would be pretty far down the list when you’re talking about basic needs, but for a kid, getting something that was selected for them, it tells them someone is thinking about them,” said Jones.
The donations need to be in by Dec.18. The Giving Tree will be up in Devargas Center this weekend, where you can pick a tag and grab those items.
They’re also doing pictures with Santa Claus on the plaza Saturday and Sunday, just bring a donation.
For more information on drop off locations and upcoming events for the Norther NM Toy Drive, click here.