Adding it up for Toys For Tots |

Adding it up for Toys For Tots

by Jo Rafferty

Through the sales of candy grams, cotton candy and sodas, Jacks Valley Elementary School students managed to earn $550.

The seven fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, on the student council at the school, combined this amount raised during Halloween and at Genoa’s Candy Dance in September, with $150 donated by Wal-Mart, totaling $700.

They met, along with Jacks Valley Elementary School teacher Bruce Porter and Toys For Tots representative Carolyn Goff, at the Northern Douglas County Wal-Mart Monday morning to pick out toys for children who are less fortunate, who live in Douglas County.

“(Mr. Porter) asked me, and I love to help people and help the poor,” said fifth-grader Kimberly Bruner. “These (toys) are going to go to people who don’t have enough money for toys.”

The children split into three groups and began walking up and down the toy aisles, choosing between types of soccer balls, footballs and Barbie Dolls, while one of the students in each group tallied up the amounts on a calculator.

The calculators were helpful since in past years the groups had gone over the amount. Jacks Valley Elementary School became involved with Toys For Tots in 1999.

Another group plopped a skateboard in their shopping cart, and Goff suggested knee and elbow pads to go with it.

Goff, a local realtor and mother of two, contributes her time to organizing Toys For Tots collections in Douglas County on both sides of the Sierra Nevada Mountains every year. The toys go to children ages infant through teenager, with toys collected in Carson Valley staying there and toys collected on the Lake side, going to children in Tahoe. Parents must first fill out an application and a wish list before they can receive toys for their children for Christmas.

“What we do is we meet all the parents’ needs (in Douglas County),” said Goff. “Last year, our surplus went to Lyon County.”

The students at Jacks Valley have been making more money each year, with all of their earnings going to the Toys For Tots program, she said. In addition, she collects the toys donated in boxes placed in businesses all over the county. The cut-off date to drop off toys is Dec. 18.

“We’ve been very fortunate,” said Goff. “The people in Douglas County have been very generous.

“I can’t thank the people enough.”