CASA of Travis County: Your holiday toy experts!

Sep 06 2012

By Callie Langford

I bet you didn’t know that CASA of Travis County happens to be an expert on toys. We know gifts: what’s trendy, what’s educational, etc.

Each holiday season we take special gift requests from the hundreds of children in foster care that we’re serving so that we can guarantee that their CASA volunteer will be able to add a little magic and joy to their holiday. We call this grand event our Holiday Toy Drive. Starting now, our CASA volunteers are out gathering gift and toy requests from each and every child we advocate for. By October, we’ll know all the hip trends in toys for 2012!

CASA Holiday Toy Drive, Austin
Our training room turns into Santa's Workshop each December and fortunately we had elves from the Austin Can Academy to help us keep it organized!

Working on our Holiday Toy Drive each year, I have often said that CASA should start a side-business of personal holiday gift selection for parents anxious to get just the right gift for their kids. We can put our holiday gift-giving wisdom to good use making money for CASA and helping parents across Austin!

While that little business endeavor of mine hasn’t taken off quite yet, I do want all of us to think about the holidays and about how much getting that perfect gift you’d been hoping for meant during your childhood. Now imagine that this December you’re not with the family that you know or in the home that is familiar to you. You might live with a foster family, or in a group home. You’ve been through a lot, and you’ve dealt with a lot of change and loss.

And imagine that one person who walks in the door with that special toy or book or video game you’ve been wanting. Yes, it’s only a gift and it’s not going to fix everything that’s going on in your life, but it shows you that someone cares; someone is listening to what you want and what you care about.

We can all be part of creating these special holiday moments that will mean so much to children in foster care this December. We already ask a lot of our volunteers and they give a tremendous amount of time and energy to help out our kids, so our Holiday Toy Drive is meant to help them out in return. Once they let us know what their kids are wishing for, we’re going to do the shopping for them so that they can give that special, meaningful gift this year.  And by we, I mean the amazing community donors like you who step up to the plate each year to turn our training room into Santa’s Workshop!

CASA Holiday Toy Drive, Jeanne Hawes, Austin
Jeanne Hawes and her sons were very excited to drop off their toy donations and help other kids have a great holiday!

If you would like to be a part of this amazing annual tradition of CASA’s, just head to our Holiday Toy Drive page and learn how you can pledge to provide specially-requested gifts or gift cards to the hundreds of children we will be serving this holiday season.

Thank you, and happy early holidays!