Toys for Tots Concludes Christmas 2022

Darlene Lopez and PCSO Tony Castaneda check bikes befor delivery



Saturday, December 24th was bright and crisp as the final chapter of this year’s Toys for Tots campaign in Prowers County concluded with a delivery of bikes for area youngsters.

CSP Officer Bronniman and family ready to deliver

“There weren’t as many bike donations this year as in year’s past,” said organizer, Darlene Lopez from the headquarters at 500 West Beech Street in Lamar.  The storage area had since been cleared of all the shelves and boxes of toys earlier in the month and all that remained were the bikes which would be delivered by Officer Tony Castaneda from the Prowers County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado State Patrol Officer, John Bronniman who was accompanied by several family members on their journey to deliver the bicycles.  Castaneda was headed for Granada and Bronniman would make several trips in the Lamar area to accomplish his volunteered task.

“I am so glad we decided to make the changes we did this year,” Lopez explained, adding that the alterations made it so much easier to gather and distribute the toys to various kids in Prowers County for Christmas.  This year all the distributions were done at the Lopez’s headquarters on West Beech Street where families on the list of donations would have the children select just the toys they wanted to keep, along with a traditional visit with Santa in his ornately decorated workshop.  Lopez said this way, the toys were specific to the child’s wants, eliminating a lot of waste and duplication and making it easier on her family and volunteer staff.

A change was also made in the way the annual holiday meal was given as opposed to an annual list of deliveries, the meals were cooked and offered from five locations in Lamar.  Free of charge, anyone could come to get their meal-to-go on December 24th .

For those with longer memories of how the annual event was conducted, Darlene Lopez arrived at the most logical manner for helping those in need receive a gift and a meal with a lot less wear and tear on the volunteers.  “In past years, so many donated toys were just junk with missing or broken parts, so we had to toss those away.  Those that were adequate would sometimes require a lot of cleaning and straightening up to become presentable and that effort took a lot of nights of volunteer work for several weeks,” she explained.  This way, the annual event is more streamlined, hopefully making it a happier occasion for all involved.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyFeaturedHolidayYouth


About the Author: