Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In its 33rd year, Toybox, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Jaycees and the Southeast Missourian, will deliver toys to children this holiday season. Tax-deductible monetary donations can be mailed to Toybox Trust, P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, 63702-0004. Donations can be dropped off at more than 30 locations, including most banks, AAA Travel and Insurance, Dollar General, Elite Travel, Fitness Plus, Hastings, HealthPoint Fitness, Osage Community Centre, Paula Huggins Accounting, Realty Executives, Wal-Mart, Cape West 14 Cine and West Park Mall.

Transplanted from New Orleans to Cape Girardeau because of Hurricane Katrina, Destiny J. is the single mother of four children ranging from 1 to 5 years old. She is happy her ex-fiance's family offered their home in Sikeston, Mo., to them when the storm caused them to relocate. She was even happier to relocate to Jackson. Going from a two-parent to a single-parent family was another loss for the family, but Destiny manages.

The East Missouri Action Agency, along with other agencies, helped the family with basic needs. But starting from scratch was not easy.

Not always a priority, the children's toys are still at a deficit. Casey, her 1-year-old son, "plays with everyone else's toys," she said. The infant needs toys that are appropriate for his developmental needs. Since he doesn't have any of his own, any toys for ages 1 and older would be appreciated.

Caring for her oldest son, Eduardo, is a challenge. The 5-year-old has ADHD. "He loves to play with Spider-Man toys," his mother said.She can get him to behave better with the reward of playing with the cherished toys. In particular, Destiny would like to have a Spider-Man curtain and bed set for him.

Three-year-old Karen loves "any kind of princess," Destiny said. Replacing the princess bedding set she lost in the hurricane would greatly be appreciated.

Any toy related to the movie "Cars" would make 2-year-old Alfred have a Christmas worth remembering.

Nine-year-old Benjamin lives with his mom in the downtown area. Play time is better with action figures and video games. His Christmas wish list is short, but it doesn't change the importance. Generous people in the community have a large variety to choose from, making it easy to complete Benjamin's list.

The talented children in this foster parent household are at impressionable ages.

Two siblings come from a family whose mother is in prison. Rita is a 10-year-old who loves to sing. Musical instruments, videos of musicals or toys that promote singing would surely make this youngster's dream come true.

Her 8-year-old brother Jack loves to draw, especially Transformers and Japanese cartoons. Art supplies or images he can draw from will provide Jack with the resources he needs. Any DVDs of Transformers or Japanese cartoons could prove inspiration. Guides to drawing specific characters that give a head start often are encouraging to blossoming artists.

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