CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Toy Lift Charities collects hundreds of toys and books for children across central Virginia every year. This year, organizers say they need all the help they can get to make sure the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t stop Santa Claus.
The group donated roughly 4,000 toys, books and other goodies to families at its annual drive in 2019, which usually takes place at Fashion Square in Albemarle County. Families receiving those gifts are sponsored by schools in the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Green, Nelson, and Orange counties.
Toy Lift expects the number of families in need to be higher this holiday season, as many families are still being negatively impacted by the pandemic.
The group is making it easier for people to contribute to the event by encouraging donors to give virtually through an Amazon Wish List, where children in need are able to list exactly what they want for Christmas.
Because of limited volunteer opportunities and the need to sanitize every toy, book or other donated item before distribution in early December, the group is asking for people to donate what they can as soon as possible.
“We’re kind of stretching out our timeline longer than we ever had before in order to accommodate life within the pandemic, while still keeping ourselves and our volunteers safe,” Toy Lift Charities Secretary Charlie Hall said.
Hall says a smaller, more limited in-person toy drive will take place sometime in November. Monetary donations are also accepted through Venmo.