Boys and Girls Club makes it easy on shoppers with virtual toy drive

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee will continue its Virtual Toy Drive through the month of December. This is the third year the organization has gone virtual with the toy drive, which seeks to collect nearly 6000 gifts for Boys & Girls Club members who might otherwise not get holiday presents.
“Making our annual toy drive virtual has made it more convenient for our shoppers and it has also cut down on the number of resources we need to make the drive successful,” said Jacqueline Zeledon, communications manager for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. “Prior to going virtual we had to find staff and volunteers to pick up the toys from the various locations which became more and more difficult as our organization continued to grow.”
By making the Toy Drive virtual the organization can also make sure all the clubs receive toys that are relatively equal in value, Zeledon said.
“Overall it has been a very positive experience,” Zeledon said. “We worked with a wholesale retailer so the prices that individuals pay for toys on our website are sometimes better than what they would pay in a store for the same gift. Plus, it’s convenient. They can just shop online.”
Individuals are invited to register on the website, Zeledon said.

Companies can purchase gifts for the toy drive or they can sponsor a holiday party at one of the clubs, Zeledon said.
More than 500 volunteers and Boys & Girls Club staff members will gather on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bayshore Town Center for the organization’s annual Wrap Party. The toys will be delivered, wrapped and eventually distributed to club members.
“We’ve streamlined the process this year,” Zeledon said. “We’re excited about the progress we’ve made so far. We’ll keep the site open through the end of the month. It’s so exciting to see the smiles on those kids’ faces when they get their gifts.”
More than 45,000 toys and gifts have been given to Boys & Girls Club members since the inception of the Toy Drive in 1990. Last year more than 5,000 toys were donated via its Virtual Toy Drive and wrapped by more than 200 volunteers.

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