That’s a lot of toys
From left, Nik Deem, Carly Deem, Alyssa Smith and Johnathan Smith pose with just over 1000 toys collected through a Toys for Tots drive at Cutting Edge Customs. Co-owners Deem, Johnathan Smith and Alyssa Smith have been running the drive for three years, and more than tripled their donation this year. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Smith
| December 1, 2021 1:00 AM
Every single toy counts.
Just over 1,000 toys were donated by community members through a Toys for Tots drive by a Post Falls off-road shop Nov. 20, filling stockings for kids throughout Kootenai County.
“It’s helped immensely,” Toys for Tots Coordinator Dennis Dodd said. “That’s one of the biggest donations that we’ve had so far this year.”
The drive ran for four hours at Cutting Edge Customs, a business that specializes in aftermarket parts and accessories outfitting off-road vehicles.
“We just take a lot of pride in giving back to the community,” co-owner Alyssa Smith said. “We’re a small local business; we want to support local people.”
Owners Nik Deem and Johnathan and Alyssa Smith have been running the drive for three years. This year they have more than tripled the amount of toys donated in 2020.
“We were so shocked when it was only half an hour into the toy drive and we had already surpassed last year’s numbers,” Alyssa Smith said. “It was really cool to see the community come together like that.”
Kootenai County Toys for Tots is sponsored by the Marine Corps League with veterans and current Marines and Marine reserves volunteering to run the nonprofit charity.
In 2020, 7,561 toys were distributed and 1,516 children supported. All donations stay in the local area and are received by infants to 12 year olds in low-income families.
Toy donations can be made at participating businesses through Dec. 18. To run a toy drive, contact Dodd at 208-952-6725 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration to receive toys is in person at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds building 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sunday.