Toy drive collects gifts for 5,000 kids across northern New Mexico
SANTA FE, N.M. — Becca Jones is the president of the Northern New Mexico Toy Drive, and this year they collected gifts for 5,000 kids.
“It’s huge, there’s nothing better and there’s also just a huge sense of relief, right?” Jones said.
She says the last few weeks leading up to toy deliveries were pretty stressful.
“I can’t say that there weren’t some moments where we were like, how are we going to pull this off?” Jones said. “It’s 2,000 more kids, but people across northern New Mexico and our amazing partners stepped up and made it happen.”
This year, they added several new organizations. As the call for more toys grew, so did support from the community, with partners like the Santa Fe Fire Department and Los Alamos National Lab.
Kayla Norris with LANL said she was overjoyed to see so many employees wanting to participate.
“When we were looking at the Google, you know, the spreadsheet, the names just kept flowing in, we had to go out and find more boxes for employees to fill up. So really, really excited to see how much interest there was this year,” Norris said.
Employees donated either time, money, or toys to help the cause.
LANL alone provided over half the donations needed. She said Los Alamos knows what it’s like to be in need, especially after the devastating fires there, and most recently near Las Vegas and Mora.
“New Mexico stepped up for us,” Jones said. “During that time, they helped us with so many things right. And so I know what that feels like in those areas to just feel this sense of like community through a statewide event. “
They collected over 5,000 toys overall. The toys were handed to children in underserved communities, those impacted by the wildfires, and kids in foster care.