Team Inc. kicked off its annual Toys 4 Kids campaign recently at a breakfast at Molto Bene at J. J. Sullivan’s on Wakelee Avenue in Ansonia.
The campaign culminates in the distribution of hundreds of donated toys at a “toy store” at 153 Main Street, Ansonia, in mid-December.
Team Inc.’s president and CEO, Richard Knoll, referring to the recent series of power-related events including Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter, said the campaign and toy store give struggling parents “purchasing power.”
The money they save by not having to buy holiday toys can go toward essentials such as fuel and food, he said.
Last year, the Toys 4 Kids campaign served 760 families, said Diane Stroman, vice president of development at Team Inc. A total of 1,514 children received toys.
Families may apply to shop at the toy store, based on income, from Friday, Nov. 9, to Friday, Dec. 14, at Team Inc. offices, 30 Elizabeth Street, Derby.
All the toys are free to shoppers, who may choose toys for newborns to age 12, according to value.
Toys 4 Kids also provides toys to the Tinney Community Center, Ansonia Community Action Inc. and the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley.
Toys 4 Kids is a huge volunteer effort, Stroman said, and 183 volunteers logged more than 2,000 hours in 2011.
She thanked Emmett O’Brien Technical School students who help drop toys off and unpack toys at the store and then pack up toys that aren’t distributed.
She also thanked members of Echo Hose Ambulance and Pine Rock Park Fire Co. 4 of Shelton for picking up toys from drop-off sites and toy drives and delivering them to the store.
Thanks also went to Webster Bank, which sponsored the kickoff breakfast, and the staff of Molto Bene, who donated their time to prepare and host the breakfast.
There are many jobs for volunteers over the next several weeks.
They process client applications from Nov. 9 through Dec. 15, set up the toy store from Monday, Nov. 26, to Friday, Dec. 14, sort toys beginning Monday, Dec. 3, and work at the toy store as greeters and room assistants, and help sort and restock toys and work at the checkout counter.
The toy store is open on Monday, Dec. 17, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 19, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday, Dec. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Inventory and cleanup take place from Jan. 2 to 4.
To volunteer, call Trish Wigglesworth at Team Inc. at 203-736-5420, ext. 221, or email email@example.com.
Those who wish to donate toys may take them to designated drop-off sites listed on this page.
To have toys picked up, call Silvia Paytas at 203-736-5420, ext. 202.
Toys must be at the toy store by Thursday, Dec. 13.
Local toy drives benefit Toys 4 Kids
Tom and Diane Baklik and their Yankee Clipper Barber Shop will host the eighth annual Christmas breakfast on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 9 a.m. at 19 Chucta Road in Seymour.
Visitors receive a free breakfast when they donate a new, unwrapped toy to Toys 4 Kids. Veterans from Emil Senger Post 10 will post the colors, there will be a brass band, and Santa Claus arrives at 10:30 a.m., escorted by motorcycles.
The Valley Community Foundation and the Seymour Lions Club have made toy donations at the event in the past, Tom Baklik said, and a raffle supports the breakfast.
The Bakliks say they’re committed to hosting the breakfast and toy drive each year.
“We have to do it because there are families in our Valley who need an awful lot of help,” Baklik said.
Marcucio Gardens at 480 New Haven Avenue, Derby, will host a pictures-with-Santa event, including the opportunity for children to “touch a fire truck,” ornament painting, a violin concert, and a raffle, on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 5 p.m.
For the seventh year, the Seymour Police Department will conduct a Fill the Police Cruiser toy drive on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Super Stop & Shop, 15 Franklin Street, Seymour, said Lt. Paul Satkowski.
Donors may drop off new, unwrapped toys to fill a police car.
A professional wrestling match to raise money for new toys is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, at Seymour Middle School, 211 Mountain Road, and the event is in the planning stages, Satkowski said.
Echo Hose Ambulance and Pine Rock Park Fire Co. will sponsor a pictures-with-Santa toy drive on Saturday, Dec. 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Shelton Community Center in the Huntington Library.
There will be a toy drive at Wal-Mart on the same day.
Drop-off sites in Shelton:
A Child’s Garden, 20 Ivy Brook Road
Bank of America , 1 Trap Falls Road
Barnum Financial Group, 6 Corporate Drive
Better Athletic Dev., 33 Hull St.
Billy D’s Full Belly Deli, 58 Bridgeport Ave.
Bridgeport Avenue Shell & Novelty, 99 Bridgeport Ave.
Bright Horizons, 3 Corporate Drive
Cork & Keg, 515 Bridgeport Ave.
Curtiss-Ryan, 333 Bridgeport Ave.
D’Addario, Buick, Nissan, 329 Bridgeport Ave.
Echo Hose Ambulance, 100 Meadow Street
First Niagara Bank, 350 Bridgeport Ave.
First. United Methodist, 188 Rocky Rest Road
Freedom from Disabilities, 19 Forest Parkway
G. V. Chamber of Commerce. 900 Bridgeport Ave.
Happy Day Preschool, 41 Church St.
Hewitt Health & Rehab, 45 Maltby St.
Hirschbeck’s Sports Bar, 882 Bridgeport Ave.
Huntington Branch Library, 41 Church St.
Liquid Lunch, 434 Howe Ave.
Liquid Lunch, 6 Research Drive
Lincoln Tech, 8 Progress Drive
Marks by Design, 500 D Howe Ave.
Newtown Savings Bank, 194 Leavenworth Ave.
People’s United Bank, 1000 Bridgeport Ave.
Pine Rock Fire House, 722 Long Hill Ave.
Plumb Memorial Library, 65 Wooster Street
Pumpkin Pre School, 100 Beard Sawmill Road
Real Estate Two, 100 Huntington St.
Scinto Group, 1 Corporate Drive
Serra & DelVecchio, 112 Huntington St.
Shelton City Hall, 54 Hill St.
Shelton Senior Center, 81 Wheeler St.
Sikorsky Federal Credit Union, 711 Bridgeport Ave.
Susanna Wesley School, 338 Walnut Tree Hill Ave.
TD Bank, 820 Bridgeport Ave.
Tutor Time, 708 Bridgeport Ave.
United Methodist Homes, 580 Long Hill Ave.
Valley United Way, 54 Grove St.
Webster Bank, 506 Shelton Ave.
Webster Bank, 502 Howe Ave.
Webster Bank, 375 Bridgeport Ave.
William Raveis Real Estate, 2 Huntington St.
Wonder Years Learning , 188 Rocky Rest.