Toybox far short with only week left

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Toybox will fall far short of toys this year unless donations pick up significantly during the final week of the drive.

Plenty of orders remain to be filled if all the needy children in Cape Girardeau whose families have requested toys are to receive them for Christmas.

Cape Girardeau Jaycees members still have more than 300 application requests waiting to be filled. There aren't any more Barbies or Matchbox cars, which are perennial requests, at the Jaycees warehouse.

"We're out of Barbies, and we bought 90 percent of what we had," said Lisa Seabaugh. "Usually we get so many of those donated but not this year."

The Cape Girardeau Jaycees and Southeast Missourian sponsor Toybox, a program that relies on donations to fill toy requests for the holidays. But not many toys are coming in. Those that have been received have been used to fill about 200 bags for children.

Toybox this year received the most applications for assistance in the program's more-than- 25-year history. More than 500 families filled out applications for aid, and many of those families have more than one child in the house.

No one is sure why donations are down so dramatically, but some speculate the warm weather or economic slowdown, or both, might be to blame. Many schools and Scout troops donate toys, but those gifts won't be received until closer to the holiday, and that creates a last-minute rush for the Jaycees, members said.

The toys are scheduled for delivery Dec. 20, which is just a week from Thursday.

Toys are needed for children from infant to age 12.

Board games, puzzles, blocks, Legos, Barbies, remote-control cars and trucks, sports equipment and dolls are needed. Other items like Scooby-Doo, Barney, Power Rangers, Harry Potter and Monsters Inc. toys and figurines are also needed to fill the children's requests.

Want to help?

DROP-OFF SITES: Southeast Missourian offices, AAA Travel Agency, First National Bank, Firstar Bank, Check Please, Bank of America, Sanders True Value, Bank of Missouri, Capaha Bank, Cingular Wireless, Union Planters Bank, Alliance Bank, Wehrenberg Theatres, Commerce Bank at the Cape LaCroix Road location only, Westfield Shoppingtown West Park or SunCom Wireless.

FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Tax-deductible offerings may be mailed to Toybox Trust, P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0004.

DEADLINE: Toys should be dropped off before Dec. 20, which is the date they will be delivered to area children.

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