BY MAIRE O’NEILL
It’s the 14th year of the Northern NM Toy Drive and thanks to EXIT Realty Advantage and dozens of businesses and groups who have provided drop-off locations it looks like this year’s drive will again generate thousands of toys for children in need this holiday season. This year’s drive could end up providing for 5,000 children being helped by some 33 organizations in the region.
Just visit the Northern NM Toy Drive website at www.exittoydrive.com to make a donation, shop a wish list, or find a drop-off location near you. This year 30 children’s organizations have partnered with the Toy Drive to make sure that donations will reach the children that will benefit the most.
This year’s Toy Drive partners are Los Alamos National Laboratory, Meow Wolf Santa Fe, Opulent Fine Jewelry & Furs, City of Santa Fe and Hutton Broadcasting.
If the number of boxes set out at new drop-off locations is anything to go by, with the community’s help, this year’s Toy Drive will be able to provide toys for several thousand deserving children throughout Northern New Mexico.
To check the map for all the drop-off locations that are now accepting new, unwrapped toys.
Los Alamos locations are:
EXIT Realty Advantage NM
Los Alamos Dental
Los Alamos Fire, Station #4
Los Alamos Fire, Station #6
Los Alamos Fire, Station #3 -White Rock
Los Alamos Schools Credit Union
New Mexico Bank & Trust
Zia Credit Union – Los Alamos
Special events during the Toy Drive include:
Saturday, Nov. 25, visit Giving Tree Forest at DeVargas Center in Santa Fe between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Stroll through trees decorated by local businesses and organizations, and choose a tag off the Giving Tree, for one of the children. Rumor has it Santa will be there! There will also be a kids activity station and also have a kids activity station, and hot chocolate.
Saturday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Santa Fe City Fire Department will offer photos with Santa on the Plaza. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy or a cash donation to The Plaza and get your photo taken with Santa in a vintage fire truck.
Friday, Dec. 1, Santa Fe Foodies are hosting a Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Vanessie Restaurant & Piano Bar, 434 San Francisco St. in Santa Fe. Bring a new, unwrapped toy and enjoy “libations and delicious bites”.
Saturday, Dec. 9, Los Alamos Fire Department will host photos with Santa at Smith’s Marketplace in Los Alamos. Those who bring a new, unwrapped toy can have their photo taken with Santa on an LAPD fire truck.
Friday, Dec. 15 the 6th Annual Ugly Sweater Party will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos with Vanilla Pop at 8 p.m. A cash beer and wine bar will be provided by Bathtub Row Brewing Co-Op. Tickets are available in advance at www.exittoydrive.com. Pre-sale tickets are $20 and tickets at the door will be $25. There will be a silent auction and prizes for best ugly sweater. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.