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Holiday Toy Distribution Programs
Empowering Adults...Serving Children
2-1-1 may know of programs other than Christmas Unlimited to assist families.
Toy Distribution Program
Christmas Unlimited is best known for its holiday toy distribution program. Throughout its 93 years the holiday program has had several incarnations, but the common thread is treating clients with dignity and compassion. The organization has remained true to its original mission as stated many years ago.
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"Christmas Unlimited is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the Pikes Peak region families in need during the holiday season."
There is no other program like it! In September, applications are distributed to more than 40 human service agencies. The agency counselors give them to the families they work with. The application is easy to fill out and requires no financial disclosure. The act of submitting the application guarantees the family is eligible for assistance. The adults head into the holiday season relieved from the tension and challenge of providing gifts to the children. In November and December, families are notified by mail of their "shopping appointment," one which they have selected.
A Unique Service
What sets Christmas Unlimited apart from similar programs is its method of gift distribution. The Distribution Center is set-up like a retail store. In fact, KayBee Toys donated the shelving. Gift items have price tags and are attractively arranged on the shelves. The shelves are restocked four times each day. Volunteers, decked out in red aprons, stand ready to help our clients with their selections.
Upon arrival at the Distribution Center, each client is issued a “shopping pass” with points allocated relative to the number of children they have. They spend their points to “purchase” gifts. This allows the client to select what they want for their children and empowers them to be the most important part of the process.
When clients are finished shopping, they go to a check-out counter and receive additional items for their children, including a stuffed animal and stocking stuffers, along with wrapping paper. Everything is put in a shopping bag, or two or three, and they’re on their way home.
The entire process is effective, friendly, and fun; all to help the parent feel good about themselves. In doing this, Christmas Unlimited is contributing to a family environment of love, caring, togetherness and old-fashioned holiday happiness.
We’ll keep them brief. Over the past ten years only 7% of the families served have applied for assistance every year. During that same time an average of 60% have been “first timers.” Clearly, Christmas Unlimited is serving families that need only a temporary helping hand.
Christmas Unlimited has leveraged its sponsor and media relationships to facilitate similar holiday gift projects jointly managed by Posada and the Salvation Army, in Pueblo County, and the Fremont Community Foundation, in Fremont County. This trinity of Christmas holiday programs served 7,819 families, allowing parents to give $35-$40 in gifts to each of 17,984 children.
A Community Partnership
In two arenas — people power and economic resource — Christmas Unlimited is very much a community partnership. Annually, over 250 volunteers contribute 14,000+ hours of time and talent to needy families of this community. Many more organized and conducted toy drives at their places of employment, churches, schools, and service clubs.
Companies as diverse as Key Bank, Current, Seven Falls, Wal-Mart, Target, Wendy’s, Western Omelette, U.S. Bank, Abbott Fire Protection, Fleet Credit, Ent Federal Credit Union, USAA, Ford, JR Engineering, Coach’s Bar, Front Range Business Group and the Olympic Training Center have pitched in with products, services and money. Area media have played an important role in Christmas Unlimited’s success. In particular — KKTV, KKLI, MY99.9, Y96.9 and Market Treasury Magazine are staunch supporters.
Service club support is integral to the organization’s success. Sertomans, Lions, Rotarians, and Kiwanians throughout the region lend time and money to the cause.
It is said of other programs, but perhaps is truer for Christmas Unlimited than most — it is simply — neighbors helping neighbors:
“Helping children believe in the magic of Christmas.....
and adults in the kindness of the human spirit.”