Sequim Community Aid celebrates 65 years of brightening local children’s Christmases this year.
On Dec. 19, the nonprofit agency hosts Toys for Sequim Kids at Trinity United Methodist Church. Parents and guardians in financial need visit on a first-come, first-served basis to receive toys, clothes and household items for babies to eighth-graders. They must provide proof of residency in the Sequim School District boundaries.
Each year, about 70 volunteers set up thousands of items. Last year, they helped 350 children. The group seeks a range of items from board games to handheld video games to clothes.
Donna Tidrick, community aid president, said Sequim Prairie Grange and local churches started the event in 1947 as a food basket and toy drive which started Sequim Community Aid and the event was later branded Toys for Sequim Kids.
Several clubs, individuals and agencies come together annually to support the event, Tidrick said.
Some of the major contributors include parents and teachers at Greywolf Elementary, Dungeness Volunteer Firefighters, High School Firefighters Explorers post, Sequim Valley Car Club, PEO clubs, Sequim Garden Club, Ladies of Elk, Sequim Yacht Club, Sequim Arts, Dungeness Hospital Guild, Sequim Association of Realtors (blankets and throws), Rite Aid, Toys for Tots, Chuck Lehman and Clallam County Fire District 3.
These agencies and businesses continue to collect items through the event.
Clallam County Fire District 3 sends out its antique engine for Santa’s Toy and Food Brigade Dec. 11-14. People are asked to listen for the music playing and come out and donate food, toys and blankets.
Sequim Scouts collect blankets and throws at QFC and Safeway on Dec. 15.
Tidrick said donations for the Toys for Sequim Kids and Sequim Community Aid have gone up since the community learned the agency was nearly broke in 2010.
“We continue to do this with no government funds,” she said. “This is a community effort.”
Sequim Community Aid continues to provide assistance for electricity, water and rent bills and deposits to families in need. To apply for assistance, call Sequim Community Aid’s beeper at 681-3731. To donate, send money to Sequim Community Aid, P.O. Box 1591, Sequim, WA 98382.
If you give money for Toys for Sequim Kids, make sure it says “toys” in the check’s subject line so they can separate funds.