Drive up and drop off your donations of new, unwrapped toys at two locations from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, as part of The Picayune Magazine-KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune Toy Drive. Drop-off locations are Chevrolet Buick Marble Falls, 2301 U.S. 281 North, and the Burnet Fire Station, 2002 S. Water St. (U.S. 281 South).
“I’ve already got 160 applications (for toys),” said Robben Thompson of Christmas Is For Kids, which distributes the toys to families that apply. The organization receives 500-700 applications a year.
“Last year, it was down a little bit, but we expect it to be back up this year because of COVID,” Thompson said. “We are at a high percentage of new families – adult workers who are furloughed or unemployed. Already, we’ve had over 30 percent more new applications. We’ll be above 700.”
Christmas Outreach in Granite Shoals also expects to see an increase in applications.
“We anticipate there will be a greater need,” said the organization’s Frances Lachance. “Part of that is because of the pandemic.”
Those who don’t want to go shopping under pandemic conditions can donate money and receive a tax deduction. Organizers use the money to shop for children of all ages. They look for deals and quality products that last for more than a few weeks.
What inspires organizers is knowing that many children will receive gifts this Christmas through the generosity of their communities.
Volunteers spend hours separating, sorting, and packaging toys so when families arrive to pick up the presents, it’s a quick trip from the facility to vehicles.
“It’s a tremendous amount of toys,” Thompson said. “That’s when the impact is in your face.”
Those wanting to help sort and package toys for Christmas Outreach can stop by Grace United Methodist Church, 4007 Valley View Lane in Granite Shoals, at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.
To fill out applications for toys in north Burnet County, familes should visit the Burnet County Clerk’s Office, 220 S. Pierce St. in Burnet, through Dec. 11.
In Marble Falls, families can go to The Helping Center, 1315 Broadway, and the Department of Health and Human Services, 1406 Resource Parkway, through Dec. 15.
Parents whose children attend Highland Lakes Elementary School in Granite Shoals can call 830-798-3650 and ask a staff member to fill out an application over the phone through Dec. 16.
Organizers encourage families to apply as quickly as possible.
“We have the most giving community,” Thompson said. “It makes our jobs easy. We want to recognize our community for their part in making this happen.”
The Picayune Magazine-KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune Toy Drive, in partnership with the food drive in November, has been helping local organizations raise money, goods, and awareness for about seven years now, Publisher Mandi Goldsmith.
“We saw that organizations needed extra help and we knew we had the reach through the radio station to grab the attention of the community and generate some excitement around giving,” Goldsmith said. “It was a perfect fit — it fit right into what The Picayune has always been about.”
The Picayune began 30 years ago as a champion for the community and the people and organizations that define it.
“We put the power of The Picayune and KBEY into the food and toy drives to make people aware of a need in their community,” Goldsmith continued. “And the community responded and has responded every year. Those drives have become a good partnership between The Picayune and the radio station and nonprofits to help get their message out.”
Goldsmith had her own message to convey as well.
“This has been a tough year for all of us,” she said. “This year, it is especially important to give so others can get. The need is greater and the love and care for community is there. Come on out December 9 and help us bring a merry Christmas to more of our friends and neighbors in the Highland Lakes.”
HIGHLAND LAKES TOY DRIVES
The three nonprofits that benefit from The Picayune Magazine-KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune Toy Drive are not the only organizations that collect and distribute toys and donations to children in need. You can give to any or all of these organizations to brighten a Christmas morning.
Granite Shoals Christmas Outreach
P.O. Box 1817, Marble Falls, TX 78654
830-598-2585 or Facebook @GSChristmasOutreach
Highland Lakes Christmas Is For Kids
P.O. Box 1750, Marble Falls, TX 78654
830-693-4512 or Facebook @HighlandLakesChristmasIsForKids
Burnet County Santa’s Helpers
723 N. West St., Burnet, TX 78611
512-756-8080 or Facebook @BurnetCountySantasHelpers
Fill the Boat!
Granite Shoals Police Department
410 N. Phillips Ranch Road
Granite Shoals Fire Department
8410 RR 1431 West
Leave toys in the boat.
Jesus Toys for Kids
Joseph’s Food Pantry
706 N. Phillips Ranch Road in Granite Shoals
P.O. Box 804, Marble Falls, TX 78654
830-220-2344 or josephsfoodpantry.com
Marble Falls Police Department
606 Avenue N, Marble Falls, TX 78654
Attention: Sgt. Garcia
Llano County Sheriff’s Office
2001 Texas 16, Llano, TX 78643
Attention: Lt. Evans
Angel Tree Toy Drive
Court Appointed Special Advocates
1719 Ridgeview, Kingsland, TX 78639
325-388-3440 or email@example.com