Santa’s Toy Shop sounds appeal for donations


December 11, 2017 - 12:00 AM

With Santa’s Toy Shop slated to open to the public once again Dec. 21 in downtown Iola, organizers have sounded another appeal for donations.
The Toy Shop needs toys, batteries and lots of cookies, organizers announced over the weekend on Facebook.
Most of the shop’s inventory was destroyed by flooding over the summer, so organizers have had to start from scratch, adding urgency to this year’s endeavor.
The Toy Shop, sponsored by Tracy Keagle and Humanity House, offers a free toy to any youngster who shows up, starting Dec. 21, and each night thereafter until Christmas Eve.
Keagle estimated the Toy Shop had about 1,500 toys on hand for youngsters to pick from; this year, they have roughly half that many on hand.
Because many of the toys are battery-operated, Keagle   said battery donations would be greatly appreciated, so each toy is  ready to go when the children arrive.
She also is in search of about 100 dozen cookies, and sounded an alert over the weekend to bakers everywhere. She’s requesting the cookies be homemade, not store-bought.
Santa’s Toy Shop will once again open with great fanfare Dec. 21, with a massive Christmas parade escorting Santa around the courthouse square.
Lineup for the parade starts at 5:15 p.m. along South Jefferson Avenue for its 6 o’clock launch. The aim is to get more than 500 carolers to partake in the parade, with the goal of setting a national Christmas carol record.
Previous parades featured roughly 250 youngsters, Keagle said. Hope Unlimited also will be on hand to serve up ham and beans to the hungry revelers.
The toy shop opens as soon as the parade ends, and will remain open until 9 p.m. Dec. 21. The shop also will be open 6-8 p.m. Dec. 22 and 23, and 5-7 p.m. Christmas Eve.
The toys should be new or gently used and unwrapped. Donations can be taken to the Humanity House office at 509 N. State St., or to 410 E. Madison Ave., or at the toy shop if anybody is there.

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