Personal shopper Sheri Ambacher helps Carla Rosebrook choose a classic toy for her 16-year-old son: a Lionel Scout electric train set! A traditional holiday gift for generations, the Lionel Scout has been in regular production since 1949.
Toy shop director Pamela Frank goes over with her staff how things will operate. One of the hardest things is limiting families to one gift per child. “This event gets us all so into the spirit of giving,” she said. “When we open the room just seems so full of toys, it’s hard to believe we’ll give them all away. But they do go fast.” This year some high-demand toys are being held in reserve and put out later in the day. “We want to make sure we keep back some good stuff for the late-comers,” she said.
Larry Vogel was on hand Saturday morning when the Edmonds United Methodist Churh fellowship hall was transformed into the Edmonds Food Bank Toy Shop. Toys are collected all year from a wide array of community groups, then sorted and prepared by volunteers. They are given away to families in need during the festive holiday event, which has been going on for more than 30 years.
Kevin Mullany manages the bicycle section. “I collect bikes all year long and refurbish them for this event,” he says. “This year we have more bikes than ever, some of them brand new. ” Here, Kevin stocks up the table of helmets. “Each bike comes with a new safety helmet,” he added.
Candy Brown and Jane Quigley manage the stuffed animal section.
Volunteer Jeff Nichols helps Hilda Rodriguez choose the right bicycle for her 16-year-old son.
Toy Shop volunteer Judy Lambert helps a customer with a book selection.
The line outside forms early on Toy Shop day in anticipation of the 9 am opening. “We expect about 350 families this year, many with multiple children,” said director Pamela Frank. “Parents pick up toys from the Toy Shop, wrap them and give them to their children as if the toys came from them.”
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