The Orange County Rescue Mission, which often solicits food items and toiletries for the needy, is looking for something else heading into the holidays: more than 900 toys.
"We are currently experiencing a serious shortage in toy and gift donations for our residents this Christmas," explained Jim Palmer, president of the biblically based nonprofit. "Each year, we provide these gifts to the children and parents living at our transitional living facilities in Orange County, and without the community's help in donating these much-needed items, hundreds of people will be without a gift this Christmas."
More than 70 percent of the current residents of the Orange County Rescue Mission's main facility, the Village of Hope in Tustin, are families, and more than 38 percent of the residents are children, Palmer noted.
"For many of the families living at our various transitional living facilities and working to get their lives back on track, this is the first year they have been able to give a Christmas present to their loved ones, or even celebrate the holiday together," explained Palmer.
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Gifts collected to date are to be given out at the Rescue Mission's Magic at the Mission this Saturday, when the children and their parents who live in transitional living facilities will be treated to carnival-themed Christmas event. As the children enjoy holiday games and activities, their parents will choose and wrap presents for their kids.
The children also get a chance to pick out presents for their parents, so these are being solicited as well. Suggested small gift donations for parents (under $25) include: gift cards, scarves, hats, gloves, beanies, socks, slippers, jewelry items, specialty soaps or perfumes, men's shaving items, belts, ties, sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets.
Those donated items along with new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages can be dropped off at the Village of Hope, 1 Hope Drive, Tustin, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.