Every December, our Walton, New York branch turns into Santa’s workshop—complete with stuffed animals, gloves, hats, books and toys. But instead of Christmas elves filling the shelves, all the gifts come directly from community donations to help bring holiday happiness to local families in need.
The Walton Toy Bank started more than 25 years ago when the bank branch took the program over from Delaware Opportunities. Headed up by only a team of five employees and a few dedicated volunteers, the program relies on the support of Walton community members and nearby organizations to provide local kids with much-needed presents—each and every year.
“The Walton Toy Bank’s success is possible because of our loving and caring community,” Walton Branch Manager Tami Hood said. “Over the years the community has helped by not only providing toys and monetary donations, but their time. They’ve helped us wrap presents, sort toys, label bags and so much more. We can’t thank our community enough.”
A small town located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, Walton has a population of just over 3,000 people. While the town may be small in size, you would never know it by looking at the total contributions to the annual toy drive.
Thanks to the community’s continued support, Walton Toy Bank provides approximately 300 children in the Walton School District with a fuller holiday season each year.
“Being able to hand parents a bag that may ultimately make a difference in what type of holiday their children have is so rewarding,” Retail Branch Assistant Pam Lakin said. “When we can make them smile, we’ve succeeded. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why year after year we do what we do.”
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