Chuckals holiday toy drive under way

Proving that it truly is better to give than to receive, Tacoma’s Chuckals Office Products Inc. has started its second annual toy drive to benefit children and teens of Pierce County.
The company has once again teamed up with Children’s Home Society of Tacoma and Pierce County to collect toy donations from area businesses.
Last year’s toy drive – which didn’t get started until December – took in over 400 toys in two weeks. The Chuckals staff is looking to surpass that total with this year’s earlier start.
“That’s our goal,” Marketing Development Representative Jessica Woody said, along with keeping the toy drive going annually and seeing it grow.
The “Present a Child Gift Drive” started on Nov. 1, with local businesses beginning to take donations from customers. Office supply delivery personnel will pick up the toys from Nov. 19 through Dec. 14 while on their routes.
“Our drivers are the ones who really get into it,” Woody said.
Referring to last year’s effort, she added, “Day after day, the drivers were walking in with their arms full of toys.”
The toys collected will go to foster children, teens and support families in Tacoma and Pierce County.
The toy drive became a reality last year after Chuckals made contact with Children’s Home Society and learned there were several hundred children in need of toys for Christmas.
Working with local businesses, as well as the military at Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base, the Chuckals staff was able to collect a large number toys in a short span of time.
“We give back to the community,” Woody noted. “Local businesses love to do stuff like this.”
During a December 2000 spaghetti dinner at Fort Lewis attended by about 400 children, some of the toys collected from that first toy drive were given away, while most were given to Children’s Home Society for distribution.
Another spaghetti dinner is set for this year, but no location has been decided upon yet.
It’s likely Fort Lewis won’t be the site of this year’s dinner, due to increased security following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing war in Afghanistan.
“We have a lot of fun,” Woody said. “We do a lot of community service.”
Indeed, community service is a hallmark of Chuckals, with all employees involved in a variety of community activities and organizations.
Goodwill Industries, Boys & Girls Club and the YWCA are just some of the organizations that Chuckals employees are involved with.
“We’re interested in this stuff all year,” Woody said.
For those who would like to donate a toy or toys, here are some guidelines:
n Gifts should be new and unwrapped. Most gifts will go to the Children’s Home Society, which will match the gift to the appropriate age and gender and then wrap it.
n Please don’t give any violence-related items such as toy guns or knives.
n Don’t forget about teenagers. Toy drives often yield plenty of toys for children, but not as many items for teenagers who may be in need. Chuckals recommends gift certificates for compact discs, clothes and the like for sometimes hard-to-please teens.
Children’s Home Society is one of the oldest (105 years) and largest not-for-profit organizations serving children and families in the state. The organization serves more than 30,000 children and families through 38 service sites.
Chuckals Office Products, located at 2215 Pacific Ave., is a leading office supply company in the Puget Sound known for its attention to personal service.
More information about the toy drive can be found at the Chuckals Web site: